Gov. Ivey addresses state challenges, including prison construction

November 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey spoke to the Workforce Development Council meeting in Montgomery. Afterward, the governor spoke to the Capital Press.

Gov. Ivey said that since she was elevated to the governorship, unemployment has dropped from 5.4 percent to just 3.8 percent – the lowest number in the history of the state. Ivey said that it was a team effort.

Ivey reminded the council that government does not create jobs, it is private companies that do that.

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Alabama proposes doubling prison mental health staff, doesn’t have money to do it

October 11, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama Department of Corrections has proposed nearly doubling its mental health staff as one of the corrective actions to satisfy a federal lawsuit.

Federal Judge Myron Thompson, earlier this year, ruled the state had run afoul of the law by failing to provide adequate care for prisoners with mental health disorders. Thompson said Alabama’s prisons were “horrendously inadequate.”

Instead of ordering a number of corrective actions, Thompson instead agreed to allow the state, SPLC and other interested parties to work together on a reasonable solution to the problems.

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Prison healthcare plan proposed

October 10, 2017

By Staff 
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, Quality Correctional Health Care and the University of Alabama at Birmingham will present to the Alabama Department of Corrections a comprehensive plan to provide enhanced healthcare services for the 21,000 inmates housed in the state prison system.

In June 2017, a federal judge ruled that the mental health services currently provided in Alabama’s prisons are so poor that they amount to unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. A still-pending portion of the same lawsuit alleges that the medical care in the state prisons is likewise inadequate. That claim will be tried in federal court soon.

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Five Corrections workers arrested

May 31, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) announced that a task force investigation had led to the arrest of five prison employees at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore County for conspiracy to smuggle in contraband.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said in a statement, “After months of investigating this case, our corruption and fraud task force uncovered the bribery scheme involving correctional officers who are sworn to protect the public, but instead chose to use their position to illegally further their self-interest.”
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Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on prison reform

March 2, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on Governor Robert Bentley’s controversial plan to borrow $800 millions in bonds in order to build four massive new prisons. Senate Bill 70 is being sponsored in the Senate by Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster).

Sen. Ward said, “I have committed my life to prison reform over the last few years.”

Ward said that you can not operate a 21st century prison system with buildings built in the mid 20th century and offer the services that we need. There are ten amendments in the bill of rights. The 8th amendment to the Constitution is there just like the second and we have to follow it. We are going to build facilities at some point, whether we do it on our own or we are forced to do it by a federal judge.
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Questions hang over massive prison bill

February 20, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The push to build four new correctional facilities at the cost of $800 million will soon begin in earnest. Still, many questions are left unanswered by legislations known as the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative (APTI). The plan at present says the estimated $1.5 billion bond issuance will be paid by savings in the ADOC budget over the next 30 years. It also assumes proper medical and mental health care will result by consolidating facilities, and that the new high-tech prisons will reduce prison staffing needs. Governor Robert Bentley and Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner Jeff Dunn are warning lawmakers of an imminent threat of Federal intervention if actions are not taken immediately.
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If Alabamians can put a man on the Moon, Alabamians can build new prisons

February 8, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley delivered his annual State of the State speech. Gov. Bentley made his pitch for borrowing $800 million to build four new prisons the focus of his speech which lasted just over one hour. The Governor compared himself to an Olympic athlete finishing his final 23 months in office like an athlete completes a race.
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Zeigler Promotes Alternative to Enormously Expensive Bentley Prison Plan

January 30, 2017

By Brandon Moseley

Monday, January 30, 2017 Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) will present his alternative to solve Alabama’s prison overcrowding to the Prison Reform Committee Monday.

The committee meeting will be at 10:00 a.m. in room 325 of the Statehouse.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler is promoting his ‘Plan Z’ as “a cheaper and faster way to alleviate current inmate overcrowding.” Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) for the second straight year is promoting an extreme proposal he is calling the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative (APTI). The Bentley Administration wants to borrow an incredible $800 million to build four mega-prisons and close 14 of Alabama’s existing prisons. Read More

Bentley’s Plan to Borrow $800 million for Prisons

December 22, 2016

By Brandon Moseley

Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, December 19, 2016 Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) told the ‘Montgomery Advertiser’s Bryan Lyman that he was considering having a special session within the 2017 regular session to force the legislature to consider his controversial plan to build new prisons on credit.

Gov. Bentley told Lyman, “That will be the top of the agenda,”

On Tuesday, December 20 the Governor’s office appeared to confirm that reporting when it twittered a link to the story with the text: “ICYMI: “Number One Agenda item for 2017.”
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Prison mental health lawsuit moves forward as class action

November 29, 2016

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

A federal judge ruled Friday that a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the Alabama Department of Corrections can move forward as a class-action lawsuit.

US District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the case, which alleges that Alabama prisoners have been denied mental health care, can move forward on behalf of all of Alabama’s prisoners, not just the prisoners named in the original lawsuit.

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