Case: 1994-2002 CRIPA Investigation, Julia Tutwiler Prison, Wetumpka (AL)

No Court Case | No Court

Filed Date: 1994

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 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 inmat…

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.)

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (5/9/2006)

Clearinghouse (5/30/2015)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)

Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)

Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Brown, Shanneta Y. (District of Columbia)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)

Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)

Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Brown, Shanneta Y. (District of Columbia)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama

CRIPA Investigation

March 29, 1994

March 29, 1994

Notice Letter

Assessment Report Letter re: Medical Health Services at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, Alabama

CRIPA Investigation

June 22, 1994

June 22, 1994

Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Medical Evaluation of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, Alabama

CRIPA Investigation

July 5, 1994

July 5, 1994

Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Enviromental Health and Safety Survey of the Julia Tutweiler Prison, Montgomery, Alabama

CRIPA Investigation

July 8, 1994

July 8, 1994

Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Expert Penologist Report on the Julia Tutweiler Prison, Wetumpka, Alabama

CRIPA Investigation

July 12, 1994

July 12, 1994

Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Fire Safety Survey Report Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women (Wetumpka, Alabama) for Dept. of Justice

CRIPA Investigation

Sept. 1, 1994

Sept. 1, 1994

Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Supplemental Report Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women (Alabama)

CRIPA Investigation

Oct. 4, 1994

Oct. 4, 1994

Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Notice of Findings from Investigation of Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women

CRIPA Investigation

March 27, 1995

March 27, 1995

Findings Letter/Report

Fiscal Year 2002 Activities Under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act

CRIPA Investigation

None

None

Other

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1994

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Alabama, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Disciplinary procedures

Fire safety

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Sanitation / living conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Affected Gender:

Female

Medical/Mental Health:

Dental care

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run