PRISON CONSTRUCTION PLAN ADVANCES IN COMMITTEE
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers advanced a plan to build up to four new prisons, but only after several lawmakers expressed deep skepticism about the project’s scope and price tag.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill Tuesday on a 9-5 vote. It moves to the House where it faces an uncertain future.
Under the plan, the state would build a new women’s prison and lease, or build, three new men’s prisons. The state would borrow between $200 million and $845 million, depending on how many prisons are leased.
Alabama prisons hold 23,074 inmates in facilities built for 13,318.
Rep. Chris England said new buildings will not solve prison staffing and violence problems.
Sen. Cam Ward, the bill’s sponsor, said federal courts will force the state to address crowding if Alabama does nothing.