University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name CRIPA Investigation, Alabama men's prisons PC-AL-0037
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On October 6, 2016, the DOJ announced that it had opened a statewide investigation into the conditions in Alabama’s prisons for men. According to the DOJ's press release ... read more >
On October 6, 2016, the DOJ announced that it had opened a statewide investigation into the conditions in Alabama’s prisons for men. According to the DOJ's press release, the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama are conducting the investigation. The team will investigate whether prisoners are receiving adequate protection from physical harm and sexual abuse by other prisoners, and from excessive force and sexual abuse by corrections officers. The investigation will also focus on whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure, and safe living conditions. The investigation will be conducted under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), which gives the department authority to investigate constitutional rights violations resulting from a “pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of such rights.”

As of April 13, 2017, the investigation is not listed on the Special Litigation Section’s Cases and Matters page. Its status is unclear.

Julie Singer - 04/13/2017

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Excessive force
Sanitation / living conditions
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Special Case Type
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description U.S. 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 No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Justice Department Announces Statewide Investigation into Conditions in Alabama’s Prisons for Men
PC-AL-0037-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section

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