Gov. Kay Ivey sets Sept. 27 special session to discuss prisons

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has called a Sept. 27 special session of the Alabama Legislature to address the state’s aging and overcrowded prison infrastructure.

In a letter to lawmakers dated Friday, Ivey wrote that it was time to tackle the state’s prison challenges.

“Achieving an Alabama solution to these problems – rather than a federal court-ordered solution – is paramount,” Ivey wrote. “It is not only legally and fiscally prudent but also the right thing to do to ensure the safety of our corrections staff and the proper rehabilitation of our inmates, many of whom will someday return to their communities.”

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Alabama last year over state prison conditions, saying the state is failing to protect male inmates from inmate-on-inmate violence and excessive force at the hands of prison staff.

Ivey’s plan for private companies to build and lease prisons to the state failed earlier this year, but lawmakers said a prison plan is more affordable now that money from the American Rescue Plan Act is available.

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