Ivey to call a special session of legislature to address prisons

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — In a letter sent to lawmakers Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey said she will call a special session “to tackle our state’s prison infrastructure challenges.”

The letter said that next week the governor “will give the formal proclamation” about the session, which will convene on Monday, Sept. 27.

A draft of a prison construction bill has already circulated among lawmakers, and it proposes the construction of two new men’s prisons in Elmore and Escambia counties, as well as a new women’s prison in Elmore County.

Alabama’s prison system has been the subject of lawsuits alleging unconstitutional overcrowding and conditions, and Ivey mentioned in the letter that the special session is necessary to address issues that “could result in detrimental consequences for our state.”

In a statement, Sen. Greg Reed also said that without action by the state to address prison issues, federal authorities may act.

“The stakes are high – without taking action on this issue, the federal government could take control of our prison system at a high cost to Alabama taxpayers,” he said, “and could even result in the forced release of prisoners. It’s time to finally resolve this issue for the people of Alabama.” 

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