Senate Committee Approves Major Prison Construction Plan in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a revamped prison construction plan reached after weeks of negotiations.

Committee members voted Thursday to send the bill to the Senate floor.

The new plan authorizes a $775 million bond issue to build up to three new prisons and renovate Tutwiler Prison for Women. It also allows cities and counties that want one of the three locations to build prisons and lease them back to the state.

Gov. Robert Bentley had proposed an $800 million bond issue to build four large regional prisons and close most facilities.

Committee Chairman Cam Ward says the plan will increase capacity by 2,000 in Alabama’s overcrowded prisons. However, Ward says lawmakers are “fooling ourselves” if they think it solves all of the problems in state prisons.

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