Alabama leaders temporarily stop $10M prison contract

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Alabama legislators have put a temporary hold on a $10 million contract between the state Department of Corrections and a company that could analyze prison needs and design new facilities.

Al.com reports the Legislature’s contract committee paused the plan Thursday amid questions about its reliability, considering construction plans for new prisons failed in 2016 and 2017. Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says planning for new prisons is a better use of tax dollars than putting more money into older prisons that need to be replaced.

He says it would cost about $1 billion to build three new regional prisons, including one that can accommodate inmates with high-need mental health issues.

One committee member said the Legislature is unlikely to pass a $1 billion prison plan.

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