Madison Pauly |10/9/2021
After years of searching for a way to finance a massive prison-building scheme, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has found her cash cow: Federal coronavirus aid.
“We had really harsh sentencing laws, one of the worst three-strikes laws in the country, laws that permitted long prison sentences for drug possession, really aggressive prosecutors,” says Carla Crowder, executive director of the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. “So the prison population just was growing, growing, growing.” The state built new prisons in the ’80s and ’90s but never allocated enough money to take care of them, Crowder says. Meanwhile, the mass incarceration machine sucked in more and more Alabamans.
New mega-prisons costing millions of dollars could clear a new hurdle today. A House committee has approved the first step in overhauling the state’s correction system.
“Buildings alone will not fix the crisis in the prison.” Carla Crowder is Executive Director of Alabama Appleseed, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote fairness for all.
Kim Chandler | 9/28/2021
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday defended her state’s plan to use pandemic relief funds to build new prisons —saying the $400 million expenditure is both allowed and needed — while a legislative committee swiftly advanced the construction plan.
Carla Crowder, executive director of Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, said during a public hearing that the proposal doesn’t address a staffing crisis or most of the issues identified by the U.S. Department of Justice in its lawsuit and reports against the state.