University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name 1994-2002 CRIPA Investigation, Julia Tutwiler Prison, Wetumpka (AL) PC-AL-0006
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In March of 1994, the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, decided to investigate the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Alabama pursuant to the Civil Rights of the Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq. The investigation consisted of three tours ... read more >
In March of 1994, the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, decided to investigate the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Alabama pursuant to the Civil Rights of the Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq. The investigation consisted of three tours of the facility in late May/early June, July, and August of 1994 and revealed many unconstitutional conditions.

Mental health care services were almost nonexistent at the facility. Mentally ill inmates in need of hospitalization remained in the facility. There were deficiencies in access to medical care, medication management, access for the physically disabled, dental care, and chronic care programs. Inmates were subjected to unconstitutional disciplinary practices. The investigation also found that many repairs needed to be made to the physical plant that the food service program was unsanitary. The facility was overcrowded and there were fire safety hazards. It was also noted that some days inmates were only provided with two meals for reasons of convenience.

In its Notice of Findings the Department of Justice made numerous recommendations in March of 1995. They included the following:
  • Establish and implement policies and proceeding in order to provide adequate mental health treatment, including hiring sufficient mental health staff and renovating the mental health unit.
  • Medical triage should be conducted by qualified staff and nurses permitted to provide over-the-counter medications for minor complaints.
  • Inmates should not go without food for more than fourteen hours.
  • Period inspections of the physical plant should be conducted.
  • Smoke detectors should be provided for all housing areas.
  • Smoke detectors should be provided for all housing areas.


According to the DOJ's 2002 Annual CRIPA report to Congress, this matter was closed sometime in the 2002 fiscal year.

The DOJ opened another investigation into Tutwiler in Jan. 2013, dealing with sexual abuse of prisoners. It is available as PC-AL-0034 in this Clearinghouse; it led to findings, and then a lawsuit and consent decree in 2015. Based on the documents filed in that matter, it does not appear that this one led to any formal agreement.

(There was also an earlier CRIPA matter involving Tutwiler, in the mid 1980s. For information, see PC-AL-0023.)

Angela Heverling - 05/09/2006
- 05/30/2015


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
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. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) State of Alabama
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Fiscal Year 2002 Activities Under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act
PC-AL-0006-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama 03/29/1994
PC-AL-0006-0008 PDF | Detail
Assessment Report Letter re: Medical Health Services at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, Alabama 06/22/1994
PC-AL-0006-0003 PDF | Detail
Medical Evaluation of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, Alabama 07/05/1994
PC-AL-0006-0002 PDF | Detail
Enviromental Health and Safety Survey of the Julia Tutweiler Prison, Montgomery, Alabama 07/08/1994
PC-AL-0006-0004 PDF | Detail
Expert Penologist Report on the Julia Tutweiler Prison, Wetumpka, Alabama 07/12/1994
PC-AL-0006-0005 PDF | Detail
Fire Safety Survey Report Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women (Wetumpka, Alabama) for Dept. of Justice 09/01/1994
PC-AL-0006-0006 PDF | Detail
Supplemental Report Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women (Alabama) 10/04/1994
PC-AL-0006-0007 PDF | Detail
Notice of Findings from Investigation of Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women 03/27/1995
PC-AL-0006-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0006-0002
Brown, Shanneta Y. (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0006-0002
Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0006-0002 | PC-AL-0006-0003 | PC-AL-0006-0006 | PC-AL-0006-0008
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0006-0001
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
PC-AL-0006-0008
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -