During my 20 years as a supervisory psychologist in the federal Bureau of Prisons, I had long been aware of the very troubling reports coming from the Julia Tutwiler women’s prison in Wetumpka.
I had coincidentally begun my career in correctional psychology in the Alabama prison system in the 1970s, at Draper prison in Elmore County. I worked for an experimental demonstration project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. At that time, Alabama prisons were as brutal and dangerous as you might imagine. I went on to study clinical psychology at the University of Alabama in a program designed to provide improved mental health services for correctional and other legal systems.