Proposed budget would provide 500 more prison officers

The Alabama State Capitol building in Montgomery.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers approved a budget that provides money for 500 additional correctional officers as the state seeks to stave off a federal lawsuit over prison violence.

The House of Representatives voted 103-0 Tuesday for the general fund budget that includes funding for the Department of Corrections’ request for more officers. The proposed spending plan now moves to the Alabama Senate.

The Department of Justice last week issued scathing findings condemning Alabama prisons for high rates of violence and gave the state 49 days to respond.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said last week that the state is working on addressing the findings, including increasing the number of officers patrolling prisons.

Ebony Howard, a senior supervising attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that 500 officers is an inadequate number.

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