Feds investigate sexual abuse claims at Tutwiler Prison

(CBS42)
(CBS42)

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1366421035&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4024883&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1366421035 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been almost a year since the Equal Justice Initiative released a report on Tutwiler Prison claiming to have spoken with more than fifty inmates.

The reported indicated that many of the inmates who the group spoke to said that they had been sexually abused by prison guards.

CBS42 followed up on the report and independently interviewed several other women whose accounts were also consistent with the Equal Justice Initiatives reports.

The women say it is about time for the federal government to step in and do something about the claims.

A few months ago, a team from the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) found many areas of concern at Tutwiler, including problems with the process inmates use to report sexual abuse.

The NIC said inmates did not feel physical or sexually safe at the jail.

Now, the U.S. Department of Justice has launched an official investigation into “possible sexual abuse by staff.”

CBS42 reached out to the Alabama Department of Corrections to see how they are handling the situation.

“In my opinion, custodial sexual misconduct is the single-most egregious abuse of power, and we absolutely will not tolerate this type of behavior where it may exist,” Commissioner Kim Thomas said in a statement.

CBS42’s Katilin McCulley received a letter from a current inmate at Tutwiler Prison that said federal investigators removed the warden from the prison before questioning inmates. They did this to make sure the inmates were free to say anything.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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