APNewsBreak: US finds “severe” problems in Alabama prisons

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Justice Department says Alabama’s prison system has been violating the Constitution by failing to protect inmates from violence and sexual abuse.

The federal government’s findings were disclosed in a scathing letter reviewed Wednesday by The Associated Press. The letter described the problems as “severe” and “systemic.”

The Justice Department also warned that it may sue the state within the next two months if Alabama doesn’t fix the problems.

The findings are the result of an investigation opened in 2016 at the end of the Obama administration.

The report is the latest blow to the troubled Alabama prison system, which has been criticized for overcrowding, violence, and a high suicide rate.

A federal judge ruled in 2017 that the state has provided “horrendously inadequate” care to mentally ill inmates.

Eric Tucker contributed from Washington, D.C.

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