Prison abuse may affect federal funding

The U.S. Department of Justice wants the state of Alabama to respond to questions about sexual abuse in prisons, or federal funding could be at risk. {}A federal probe into reports of sexual misconduct at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka has prompted the Justice Department to question governors across the country. The Justice Department sent letters to all the governors of every state, inquiring about compliance with a federal law implemented back in 2003. {}The Prison Rape Elimination Ac was initiated to crack down on sexual assault against prisoners.Federal officials declared the conditions at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women unconstitutional.Gov. . Robert Bentley's spokeswoman, Jennifer Ardis, says the Alabama is working to make state prisons safer for inmates, staff and the public and will respond by the May 15 deadline.