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Lawsuit claims prison system did not protect younger inmates

LANSING (WKZO) -- A lawsuit filed against the Michigan Department of Corrections alleges that inmates younger than 18 have been assaulted by older inmates.  The suit has been filed by attorney Deborah LaBelle, the same attorney who won a 2009 settlement of 100-million dollars on behalf of female inmates claiming to have been sexually abused by corrections officers.

The plaintiffs in this case are seven "John Doe" prisoners who claim that while they were minors housed with adults in prison they were sexually and physically abused by the older prisoners.  In seeking class action status, though, LaBelle says the suit is filed on behalf of more than 500 prisoners between the ages of 14 and 17 who have been housed with adults over the past three years.

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