- Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama may be at risk of losing some of its federal prison funding if it doesn’t respond to questions from the U.S. Department of Justice about sexual abuse.

AL.com (https://bit.ly/1jr2Y9I ) reports federal officials sent letters to every governor last week asking if their state is complying with the Prison Rape Elimination Act - a federal law that was enacted in 2003 to crack down on sexual assault against prison inmates.

The letter comes after a federal probe into reports of widespread sexual misconduct at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka. Federal officials declared the prison’s conditions unconstitutional.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Ardis, says the state is working toward making state prisons safer for inmates, staff and the public and will respond by the May 15 deadline.

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