State plans to spent half a million dollars on prison consultant


Alabama plans to spend up to $500,000 dollars with a consulting firm to help make changes at a prison thrust into the national spotlight over accusations of widespread sexual harassment and abuse.Gov. Bentley announced the hiring of The Moss Group earlier this month. {}The state will pay the firm up to $499,900 over the next 18 months, under a proposal approved by the legislative committee Thursday.The Washington D.C. firm is being hired to help Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act and improve safety at the prison and other facilities.The U.S. Department of Justice in January accused Alabama of violating the constitutional rights of Tutwiler inmates. The report said the prison had a "history of unabated staff-on-prisoner sexual abuse and harassment."