prisoners can sue

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Supreme Court has cleared the way for prisoners to sue the Corrections Department for alleged civil rights violations. 

The court declined to take an appeal from state officials. They're accused of failing to prevent prisoners from physically abusing inmates who were under 18 years old.

The Michigan Constitution says "no person shall be denied the equal protection of laws" when receiving a public service. But in 1999, lawmakers carved out an exception, saying public service doesn't include prisons or jails.