MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Department of Corrections officials and Gov. Robert Bentley's office say they had been working to improve conditions at Julia Tutwiler Prison before a federal investigation found evidence of inmates being sexually abused.
A report from the U.S. Department of Justice late last week said instances of sexual abuse at the hands of prison staff and others may have been underreported for nearly 20 years.
Federal officials visited the prison last April and recently sent their findings to Bentley in a 36-page letter, saying prisoners there fear for their safety. The DOJ says it will expand its probe to medical and mental health care for inmates as well.
Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas called the findings off-base and says officials have been working to address problems at the facility for months.