Improvements to Tutwiler Prison underway

WETUMPKA, Ala. (WIAT) — In January 2014 the Department of Justice found staff members at Tutwiler Correctional Facility looked the other way for almost a decade as inmates were sexually abused.

CBS42 began looking into those claims in 2012. Inmates came forward one after another telling their stories of sexual abuse while at the prison.

An investigation by the Department of Justice found Tutwiler had a history of “unabated staff on prisoner sexual abuse and harassment.”

Governor Bentley says improvements to the state’s only women’s prison, are in the works.

“We had recommendations of 58 things that were to be put in place by our commissioner and actually all 58 are being worked on at the present time,” said Bentley.

Bentley says one of the changes he feels will be most noticeable are security cameras, which will be in place by summer.

The cameras will eliminate blind spots within the prison.

They are also working on the issue of overcrowding. Bentley says they are looking to renovate a facility that will allow between 200-300 prisoners to be moved.

Other changes include hiring more female corrections officers and a policy to prevent any employee accused of sexual-misconduct from having contact with inmates until an investigation is complete.

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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