Ivey to meet with lawmakers on what’s next for prison plan

Ivey to meet with lawmakers on what’s next for prison plan

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Gov. Kay Ivey will soon meet with some lawmakers to discuss the status of her proposal to lease three new mens’ prisons. The deal appeared to be crumbling as Tuesday was a deadline for the builder of two of facilities, CoreCivic, to obtain financing for its proposed projects.

Asked if CoreCivic had missed its deadline, a spokeswoman for Ivey would not answer and referred back to a written statement from the governor.

“As governor of Alabama, one of my primary responsibilities to the citizens of our state is to protect their safety and well-being,” Ivey’s statement said. “Since my first days in office, I have been clear and consistent about the critical importance of taking action to address our correctional system – an important public safety issue that affects every person and community in Alabama. It is unfortunate that the comprehensive efforts underway to resolve this issue have proven so challenging and time-consuming; however, my commitment to improving prison conditions is unwavering.

“To that end, my team and I will meet with legislative leaders again in the coming days to review all that we have learned through this process thus far, including the complexity and depth of the multi-faceted challenge at-hand. Further, we will examine the options that remain on the table with CoreCivic and Alabama Prison Transformation Partners and explore additional/alternative options to fund the construction and maintenance of new prison facilities.”

Lawmakers already salty about the expected $3 billion pricetag to lease three facilities have recently begun pushing the idea of a bond issue to build state-owned facilities. Alabama Daily News reported Tuesday that some want to explore using federal Covid-19 relief funds to build or improve prisons.

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“… I look forward to continuing to work with my team, our partners, and legislature leaders to ensure the state takes the necessary steps to transform our correctional system and protect public safety,” Ivey said.