Groups Sue Over Ala. Prison Conditions

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Two advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against the Alabama prison system, claiming the state is failing to provide basic medical and mental health care to inmates.

Attorney Maria Morris of the Southern Poverty Law Center says a lack of adequate medical care is causing inmate suffering and even deaths.

The SPLC and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Center filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Montgomery on behalf of about 40 inmates.

Morris said the state has long known about the problems but has failed to bring care up to humane and constitutional conditions
Alabama Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas last week called the SPLC's accusations inaccurate and incomplete.

Alabama prisons are at nearly twice their designed capacity. Morris said overcrowding, medical care and funding are intertwined.

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