The prison strike that’s been occurring across the country still hasn’t been picked up by major news sources despite the major impact it could have on the justice system. Perhaps that will change now that the Department of Justice has gotten involved.
The DOJ has released a statement saying that they’ll be investigating the conditions in all of Alabama’s state prisons, including the W.C. Holman Correctional Facility, which was where inmates held a work strike and an entire shift’s worth of corrections officers didn’t show up one day.
“The investigation will focus on whether prisoners are adequately protected from physical harm and sexual abuse at the hands of other prisoners; whether prisoners are adequately protected from use of excessive force and staff sexual abuse by correctional officers; and whether the prisons provide sanitary, secure and safe living conditions,” said the DOJ in their statement.
Holman, specifically, is the target of multiple allegations of being unsafe and unsanitary as a result of being far over its capacity.
“Our obligation is to protect the civil rights of all citizens, including those who are incarcerated,” said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance of the Northern District of Alabama. “This investigation provides us with an opportunity to work collaboratively with the state of Alabama to assess current conditions and ensure constitutionally sufficient conditions exist for all prisoners.”
The investigation will utilize the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) to look into these allegations. As of now, no conclusion has been reached.