[4/9/19] – DOJ Report Finds Constitutional Rights Violated in Alabama Prisons

After a two-year civil rights investigation, the Department of Justice released their report on the conditions of prisons in the State of Alabama. The report, which was made public on Wednesday, April 2, 2019, found that the state of Alabama routinely violated the rights of prisoners by failing to protect them from violence. It noted that the nature of the violence was considered to be cruel and unusual and a violation of prisoners Eighth Amendment constitutional rights. Lawmakers in the state of Alabama were given 49 days to address the issues in the report or face the possibility of a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.

The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for DOJ Report Finds Constitutional Rights Violated in Alabama Prisons



·     Justice Dept. Finds Violence in Alabama Prisons ‘Common, Cruel, Pervasive’” NPR

·    “Alabama’s Gruesome Prisons: Report Finds Rape and Murder at All Hours” The New York Times

·“Investigation of Alabama’s State Prisons for Men” U.S. Department of Justice

· “Inside the nightmarish world of Alabama prisons and the DOJ’s attempt to fix them” ABC News



  • Writing: What measures can be taken to prevent constitutional violations from taking place?
  • Debate: Despite the crimes they committed, prisoners also have rights that need to be protected.
  • Poll: The Department of Justice should sue the state of Alabama for civil rights violations.
  • Short Answer: What issues were highlighted by the Department of Justice as issues that constituted possible civil rights violations?


Current Events Quiz                                                                                                                                        

1.)According to Fox News, some Alabama prisons are over _____ percent in capacity.

a. 50

b. 100

c. 200

d. 325


2.) In a report, the Department of Justice concluded that conditions in Alabama prisons violated the ______ Amendment.

a. First

b. Fourth

c. Sixth

d. Eighth


3.) The state of Alabama was given ______ days to address the issues found in the Department of Justice report or they could face a federal civil rights lawsuit.

a. 10

b. 21

c. 30

d. 49


4.) The United States Attorney General cannot sue the state of Alabama due to the Department of Justice’s findings. (T/F)


5.) Overcrowding and low staffing levels can create barbaric situations.  (T/F)


6.) According to the Department of Justice, the homicide rate is Alabama prisons is nearly 8 times the national average. (T/F)


Feature Image: iStock.com/kodda

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