By Robin DeMonia — The Birmingham News Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 10:59 AM Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 10:59 AM
The Equal Justice Initiative said the abuse has been widespread, involving dozens of complaints and in several cases resulting in pregnancy. “In the past two years, women in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections have given birth to children fathered by correctional officers and have reported incidents of violent sexual attacks,” the organization said in a press release.
State prison spokesman Brian Corbett said the Department of Corrections had no immediate comment.
It’s not the first time staff sexual assaults at Tutwiler have been cited as a problem. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, a 2007 federal report ranked Tutwiler No. 1 among women’s prisons based on the number of sexual assaults and 11th among all 146 prisons studied.
Over the past five years, the organization said, more than 20 Tutwiler employees have been transferred or fired because of alleged sexual contact with inmates, and six correctional officers were convicted of sexual abuse of prisoners just from 2009 to 2011.
Even so, the Equal Justice Initiative accuses state prison officials of under-reporting the problem and retaliating against women who make accusations against the staff. “This troubling cycle of abuse and lack of accountability has established a widespread pattern and practice of custodial sexual misconduct,” said Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.
I bet the Department of Corrections has no comment. This is all too common these days. Even here in Montana. Two of the men’s prisons have had issues with this and at the Law and Justice Committee Meeting it was brought up by a public comment that it was going on at the women’s prison also. That conditions there could even be worse.