Sessions Helped Fill Alabama’s Overcrowded Prisons—Now He’s in Charge of Investigating Them


Source:  Rewire/Sofia Resnick

August 30, 2017

Believing what the state needs is serious prison reform, some are skeptical of how deep this Department of Justice’s investigation will delve, and what reforms it will (or won’t) recommend.

After three years and five dead plaintiffs, an Alabama federal court recently found that the state has been subjecting prisoners to cruel and unusual punishment by denying inmates adequate mental health care.

That claim, ruled on in late June, is one of several cases the state has been facing over its prisons for the past few years. And just last fall, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began its own, separate probe into the Alabama Department of Corrections’ (ADOC) 14 men’s prisons, making the Yellowhammer State the first in history to face a federal investigation into nearly its entire prison system.

Over the last several years, local investigative reporters and advocacy groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Equal Justice Initiative have uncovered devastating conditions within Alabama’s prisons.

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