State says prison construction allowed with relief cash

Alabama News

Inmates sit in a treatment dorm at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore, Ala., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. The Department of Justice has threatened to sue Alabama over excessive violence and other problems in state prisons for male inmates. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama officials say federal rules do not appear to block Alabama’s plan to use pandemic relief funds to build prisons.

The Treasury Department in final rules wrote that construction of new correctional facilities is not allowed use if built as a response to an increase in the rate of crime. Kirk Fulford, deputy director of the Legislative Services Agency fiscal division, said he did not see the rule impacting Alabama’s prison plan.

He said Alabama is using a segment of funds intended to replace lost revenue. The rules allow states to use that money on government services.

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