The federal government is investigating prisons throughout Alabama in an inquiry that is “possibly unprecedented”. The investigation comes after a series of strikes and riots that have revealed the state’s prisons are in turmoil.

    “It’s a giant investigation. This is rare,” said Lisa Graybill, a staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is conducting an investigation of its own. Previously Graybill worked for the federal unit that will investigate Alabama, and said the closest comparison in memory was an examination of Puerto Rico’s juvenile jails. “Taking on a whole state is unusual and possibly unprecedented,” she said.




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