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Case Name U.S. v. Alabama [CRIPA matter involving Tutwiler] PC-AL-0034
Docket / Court 15-cv-368 ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On May 28, 2015, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, filed a suit against the state of Alabama and its Department of Corrections (ADOC) for heinous sexual abuse committed by the ADOC's male officers at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama. The parties reached a ... read more >
On May 28, 2015, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, filed a suit against the state of Alabama and its Department of Corrections (ADOC) for heinous sexual abuse committed by the ADOC's male officers at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama. The parties reached a settlement agreement and filed a joint motion to dismiss the case, which was accepted by the court's opinion issued on June 18, 2015. 2015 WL 3796526.

The court consequently issued a consent decree and closed the case. The settlement is monitored by a designated monitor, Jennie Lancaster, who began monitoring the case on Sept. 17, 2015. The settlement requires the ADOC and Tutwiler to make recommended changes within the period of the filing of three compliance reports (to be filed every six months). The substantive part of the settlement agreement contains 13 sections: General Policies and Procedures; Camera Management; Staffing; Training; Inmate Education; Gender-Responsive Classification; Risk Assessment; Inmates' Right to Privacy; Reporting Allegations of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Official Response to an Allegation of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment; Referrals and Investigations; Staff Disciplinary Actions; Limited English Proficient (LEP) Inmates.

The policy section of the agreement, inter alia, requires the ADOC and Tutwiler to develop, submit to the Monitor and DOJ for review and implement policies and procedures regarding the management of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming inmates; comply with its policy that ensures women receive essential supplies; develop and implement policies and procedures that incorporate gender-responsive strategies, including policies and procedures governing the use of force against women inmates and discipline of women inmates; to develop, submit to the Monitor and DOJ for review and implement facility-specific policies and operational practices specific to Tutwiler' s population regarding the Supervision and monitoring necessary to prevent inmates from being exposed to an unreasonable risk of harm from sexual abuse and harassment; revise and/or develop and implement, as necessary, any other policies, practices, procedures, protocols, training curricula, and other written documents, including but not limited to, screening tools, logs, handbooks, manuals, and forms.

The first monitor report was filed on February 26, 2016 on the assessment period for May 28 - December 4, 2015. There, the monitor noted positive progress and grant of a 3-month extension for compliance on the general policies and procedures and training.

Soojin Cha - 05/20/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - 2017
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:15-cv-00368-MHT-TFM (M.D. Ala.) 03/01/2016
PC-AL-0034-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/28/2015
PC-AL-0034-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Settlement 05/28/2015
PC-AL-0034-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 05/28/2015
PC-AL-0034-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 06/18/2015 (2015 WL 3796526) (M.D. Ala.)
PC-AL-0034-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 06/18/2015 (M.D. Ala.)
PC-AL-0034-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Monitor Report 02/26/2016
PC-AL-0034-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Compliance Tool 02/26/2016
PC-AL-0034-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moorer, Terry F. (M.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
PC-AL-0034-9000
Thompson, Myron Herbert (N.D. Ala., M.D. Ala.)
PC-AL-0034-0004 | PC-AL-0034-0005 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abbate, Julie K. (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0034-0003 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Adams, Jerusha Tatiana (Alabama)
PC-AL-0034-9000
Anderson, Robert G. (Mississippi)
PC-AL-0034-9000
Fleisher, Aaron S (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0034-0003 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0034-0003 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0034-0001 | PC-AL-0034-0002 | PC-AL-0034-0003 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Lopez, Zazy I (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0034-0003 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0034-0003 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dunn, Jefferson S. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0034-0003 | PC-AL-0034-9000
Harmon, Bart Gregory (Alabama)
PC-AL-0034-9000
Hill, Anne A. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0034-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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