Alabama Lawmakers set to examine $800 million prison plan

BIRMINGHAM, Al. – Alabama lawmakers begins their next legislative session on Tuesday, and one of the biggest items on their agenda is Governor Robert Bentley’s $800 million plan to overhaul Alabama’s prison systems.

According to our news partner AL.com, lawmakers say the Alabama Prison Transform Initiative would change the way Alabama handles its prisoners. The state has not built a new prison system since the 1990’s – a problem the legislation intends to solve.

The plan calls for three new regional prisons to replace 13 smaller, older prisons and the replacement of the 75-year-old Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.

Alabama prisons have too many inmates and too few corrections officers to guard them. Several actions have been taken to reduce prisoner sentences and expand parole and community supervision of offenders.

The $800 million used to build the prison will come from a bond issuance to be paid over 30 years, for a total cost of $1.5 billion.