Federal Action Needed in Alabama Prisons, Say Gupta, Vance in USA Today

Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – In an opinion piece in USA Today, Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Joyce White Vance, professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, called for the U.S. Department of Justice to take action to address the deadly brutality in Alabama’s men’s prisons.

Gupta was head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under President Obama, and White served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2009 to 2017. The two helped launch the DOJ’s investigation into the Alabama prisons.

In their piece, the two note that following the investigation, “the next step must be for state and federal officials to reach a legally enforceable agreement that will put an end to this systemic abuse and guarantee that people in Alabama’s prisons are treated humanely.” They also say that “the inhumane conditions in Alabama’s prisons call out for a comprehensive consent decree, a court-approved and court-enforced plan negotiated between state or local officials and the Justice Department.”

“The indefensible horrors in Alabama’s prisons demand the kind of solution that consent decrees can efficiently bring,” Gupta and Vance said.

The full piece can be read here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.