Judge dismisses suit seeking to block Alabama prison leases

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to block Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to lease prisons that would be owned by private companies and operated by the state.

Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin granted the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit after rejecting plaintiffs’ claims that the leases are unconstitutional.

Ivey has said new prisons are a crucial step to overhauling the state’s troubled and aging prison system. Critics say the $3 billion plan is unnecessarily expensive and doesn’t address critical issues of training, violence and understaffing.

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