Groups seek probe of Alabama use of virus funds for prisons

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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) — Nearly two dozen organizations have sent a letter asking the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to investigate Alabama’s plan to use $400 million in pandemic relief funds to build two super-sized prisons.  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, The Sentencing Project, and others signed on to a letter arguing that it is improper to use the relief dollars.

They asked Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters to hold hearings on the matter.

The U.S. Department of Justice has sued Alabama over a prison system it said was riddled with prisoner-on-prisoner and guard-on-prisoner violence.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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