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Tag: Alabama

Law Firm: Alabama Prison System Rife with Abuse, Should be Investigated by DOJ

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Widespread corruption, misconduct and abusive behavior were found in Alabama’s prison system following a six-month investigation by a nonprofit law firm.

Now the firm, the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, is urging the Justice Department to conduct a formal investigation, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Alleging extreme violence, security problems and a culture of fear at the prisons, the firm filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Corrections last month.

EJI Director Bryan Stevenson said the problems are widespread and won’t change until the Justice Department gets involved.

“It’s not adequate to say we don’t have the money to do better,” Stevenson said. “A lot of these problems reflect cultural problems, leadership problems and management problems that don’t directly relate to the budget.”

One of FBI’s Top Most Wanted May Have Died More Than Two Decades Ago

William Bradford Bishop

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives may have been dead for more than two decades.

WUSA9 reports that the FBI plans to exhume a body that bears a “strong physical resemblance” to Bradford Bishop, who has been wanted for allegedly murdering his mother, wife and three sons in Montgomery County in 1976.

The body is of a man who was killed while walking on a highway inAlabama in 1981.

Bishop was indicted by a grand jury in March 1976 for the murder of his family.

DOJ Supports Special Needs Student Who Was Used As ‘Rape Bait’

Sparkman Middle School, Google Maps

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is supporting the family of a girl who was raped after a teacher told her to act as bait to catch a suspected sexual predator at Sparkman Middle School in Toney, Ala.

The Daily Mail reports that the school had failed to discipline the suspected predator because he had not been caught in the act. So a teacher told a 14-year-old special needs student to meet the boy in a bathroom where he had allegedly had sexual encounters with other girls.

The ill-conceived plan took a horrifying turn when the suspect met her in a different bathroom, so no one came to help.

To support the family’s lawsuit against the Madison County School Board, the Department of Justice filed an amicus brief.

The filing alleges that the incident violated Title IX.

“School administrators knew the student’s extensive history of sexual and violent misconduct and were alerted to the substantial risk he posed,” the brief read.

 

FBI, Other Law Enforcement Train for Active Shooter Exercise at Alabama Mall

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

This is the kind of training you hope to never have to use.

Nearly 200 members of various law enforcement agencies converged on a mall in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday for an active shooter exercise, FOX 10 reports.

The scenario at Bel Air Mall was a shooter on a rampage after a terrorist attack occurred in another part of the country.

“That’s what’s so important about an event like this is that we bring everyone together so the tactical operators from the county, the city, the FBI, we all work together in this situation…evidence response teams…we all work together so we can understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Chris Hacker, FBI Assistant Agent in charge.

“We have a year-long relationship with law enforcement and it’s important to cooperate in their efforts as well as for them to cooperate with our efforts. Obviously we’re aware that we need to be available to them when they need a facility,” said Tim Nolan, Bel Air Mall manager.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Department Threatens to Yank Federal Funding to States Over Prison Compliance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

States have two choices: Comply with federal prison standards to reduce inmate rape or lose federal grant money.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the Justice Department sent all 50 states a letter last week warning that would lose 5% of their federal funding if they are in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

The deadline to respond is May 15.

The letter comes just a month after the Justice Department released a report that showed serious problems, including inmate rape, at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Justice Department Finds Alabama Failed to Protect Female Inmates from Sexual Abuse

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department leveled serious allegations against Alabama officials, saying the state failed to protect female prisoners from being sexually assaulted and harassed by correctional staff, Fox 6 WBRC reports.

“Tutwiler has a history of unabated staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and harassment,” the department wrote in a report to Gov. Robert Bentley. “The women at Tutwiler universally fear for their safety. They live in a sexualized environment with repeated and open sexual behavior, including: abusive sexual contact between staff and prisoners; sexualized activity, including a strip show condoned by staff; profane and unprofessional sexualized language and harassment; and deliberate cross-gender viewing of prisoners showering, urinating, and defecating.”

The governor’s office expressed support for the investigation.

“Governor Bentley has been supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ proactive measures to address the needs and issues in our prison system. The Department of Corrections has been putting recommendations from the NIC report in place since last January. It is important to ensure safety of inmates and staff inside our prisons, and the Governor is supportive of Commissioner Thomas’ efforts to do just that.”

Investigator Assigned to DEA Runs for Sheriff in Alabama County, Says He’s Worried about Heroin

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 35-year-old  investigator assigned to the DEA office in Birmingham, Ala. announced he’s running for sheriff in the Alabama county of Cullman, where he also served as head of the Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team, the Cullman Times reports.

Matt Gentry is running as a Republican to replace incumbent Mike Rainey in the June 3 primary.

“As sheriff, my office will be one that is held accountable —focusing from the top down,” Gentry said. “I will manage a more proactive and professional law enforcement agency, focusing on the needs of the citizens.”

Gentry said his law enforcement experience will help curtail the use of drugs and said he fears that heroin may soon replace meth as the drug of choice in Cullman County.

Since Jan. 2011, he’s worked for the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office as an investigator assigned to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Birmingham field office where he covers Cullman County, the paper reported. He’s temporarily resigned the position this month while he campaigns.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Alabama Man Gets 20 Years in Prison for Assaulting Border Patrol Agents, Causing Deadly Crash

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Alabama man who assaulted Border Patrol agents in Texas and then caused a crash that killed two people and severely injured another, will spend 20 years in prison, Al.com reports.

David Steiner, 39, charged at three Border Patrol agents with a stolen car while trying to flee from a traffic stop in May 2012. He later crashed into an oncoming car.

A U.S. District judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison, AL.com reported.

Steiner pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer by using a deadly or dangerous weapon.