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Prison system turns over documents to Justice Department

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Corrections turned over documents to the Department of Justice for an ongoing investigation related to “use of force and sexual abuse by staff,” according to a court document filed last week.

Justice Department lawyers wrote in a Thursday court filing that Alabama turned over requested documents in the ongoing investigation.

The Justice Department in April said it believes Alabama is violating the constitutional rights of male inmates by housing them in violent and unsanitary prisons. The findings were released in a letter to the state after the completion of a Justice Department investigation.

However, the department indicated Thursday that one area of its investigation is ongoing.

“There are still areas of the Department’s investigation which have not been completed, specifically related to use of force and sexual abuse by staff,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in the court filing.

The department had gone to federal court in October seeking to enforce a subpoena for investigative files and other documents.

Lawyers withdrew that request Thursday, saying the documents had been delivered.

The scathing Justice Department report released in April condemned the state prison system for excessive violence, inmate deaths and a critical staffing shortage.

The Justice Department threatened to file a civil rights lawsuit against the state over conditions.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town, who is handling negotiations between the Justice Department and the state, said in a statement this week that the department is working with Alabama to see if it can correct the “constitutional deficiencies.”

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