Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women was completed in December 1942, at a cost of $350,000 and had a capacity for 400 female inmates. The newer Tutwiler Prison replaced an older Tutwiler Prison for Women, which had been the state's first prison, the Wetumpka Prison, since it primarily maintained female inmates. The facility was named in honor of the "Angel of the Stockades", Julia S. Tutwiler, a noted Alabama educator and crusader for inmate education, classification, and improvement of prison conditions.
Since Tutwiler has a death row, it is a maximum-security prison. Tutwiler is also the receiving unit for all in-coming female inmates. The prison has thirteen (13) dormitories, segregation, mental health unit, a medical infirmary, and units for inmates who are pregnant, or aged and/or infirmed. In addition, Tutwiler has an auditorium, a chapel, substance-abuse treatment, and administrative ancillary services.
Tutwiler’s clothing plant manufactures inmate clothing items for the Department and county jails.