Alabama Prison Transformation Act

Problems with the Governors $800MM prison plan

  • Does not follow the Competitive Bid Law = No Bid Contracts

    • The competitive bid law is in place to protect taxpayer’s dollars and protect against coercion. Competitively bidding all public works projects is the law in Alabama and it provides the best price with the job completed on time and brings transparency in the use of tax payers dollars.
  • Moves prisons out of the communities that have invested in them and rely on them for employment

    • The investments made by communities with prisons to sustain those prisons were leveraged based on the service provided to the prison system. If they loose these prisons the debt service will still have to be paid by citizens through increased rates. These are the same citizens who will be losing their jobs.
    • The loss of direct and indirect jobs would create a negative economic impact on communities that is so significant that it would take many years to recover.
  • Enormous cost that will not solve the prison-overcrowding problem.

    • The $800 Million Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act would ultimately cost at least $1.5 billion and would create a bond debt that Alabamians will be paying on for 30 years.
    • The new construction will not increase the number of beds in the prison system because fourteen (14) existing prisons will be taken out of service.
    • The Governor says the debt will be paid through savings by reducing the hours and numbers of correctional officers. The prisons are already severely short on correctional officers. More should be hired and should be given a raise – not reduce the number and hours of correctional officers.
    • The courts will soon require the prison system to increase their expenditures on medical care and mental health care.
    • It is difficult to believe that the debt service could be paid through unrealistic costs savings in the prison budget.
  • As much as possible, prisons should be left in the same areas where they are currently.
    • The infrastructure and the trained workforce are already in place in these areas.
  • Based on research and thorough evaluation construct one new prison
    • (possibly a women’s prison facility) following the competitive bid law. Renovate, remodel, and repurpose existing facilities as needed following the competitive bid law.
  • Increase the number of correction officers.
    • The current prison system is dangerous for correction officers. Increasing the number of officers will help. To do this a salary increase should be implemented. The increased number of officers and the increased pay of the officers would certainly be a better option than excessive overtime pay for overworked officers placed in understaffed facilities.
  • Move mental health, geriatric, and hospice inmates to facilities where Medicaid dollars can be utilized, when appropriate.
  • Provide adequate medical care to inmates as required of the U.S Constitution.
    • Alabama must ensure that appropriate medical care is provided for all inmates. A healthcare audit should be conducted throughout the prisons system.
  • Expand education, vocational training, and re-entry programs in prisons
    • Reduce recidivism and improve employment opportunities for inmates upon release. Alabama needs to invest in inmates so that when they leave prison and rejoin our communities they have a skillset to make a living. Additionally, Alabama must make certain that collateral consequences are addressed.

Please email members of the Alabama House of Representatives and Senators and tell them to VOTE NO on the Governor’s Prison bill and insist that any prison construction be competitively bid following the Alabama Bid Law for Public Works Jobs which requires that sealed bids be opened publicly.