Alabama Tutwiler Prison

Rivers A. Langley / Wikimedia Commons

Alabama may be at risk of losing some of its federal prison funding if it doesn't respond to questions from the U.S. Department of Justice about sexual abuse. 

AL.com reports federal officials sent letters to every governor last week asking if their state is complying with the Prison Rape Elimination Act — a federal law that was enacted in 2003 to crack down on sexual assault against prison inmates.

Credit AP Photo/Jamie MartinAn inmate at Tutwiler Prison for Women has testified about life in prison under the Alabama prison system's policy of keeping HIV-positive inmates segregated from other inmates.Edit | Remove

An inmate at Tutwiler Prison for Women has testified about life in prison under the Alabama prison system's policy of keeping HIV-positive inmates segregated from other inmates.

Allegations of inmate abuse at Alabama's female prison and an inmate being beaten to death at a male prison have pointed to a lack of security cameras in state prisons.

   Testimony in a federal court trial in Montgomery has noted the lack of cameras to record what happened on the night inmate Rocrast Mack was beaten and stomped at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton. Allegations of inmate abuse at Tutwiler Prison for Women led to a federal report pointing out the need for cameras. The Legislature voted recently to fund cameras for Tutwiler.

billmoyers.com/Photo by Robin Holland

An attorney for inmates says a federal report detailing problems at Alabama's prison for women is revealing.

Bryan Stevenson of the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative says the study "wakes people up" by showing what's going on at Tutwiler prison, located in Wetumpka.

Stevenson tells the Montgomery Advertiser a long-term solution is needed to fix the state's prisons.

Stevenson's organization last year alleged widespread abuse of inmates and sexual misconduct at Tutwiler involving corrections officers.

Rivers A. Langley / Wikimedia Commons

A Justice Department report is criticizing the way female inmates are treated at Alabama's lone prison for women.

A study by the National Institute of Corrections says there have been reports of sexual abuse of female prisoners, and officials haven't always treated those complaints in the proper manner.

(Information in the following story is from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com)

Alabama's prison system has changed a policy that required placing inmates who make a complaint into segregation while the issue is being investigated.