Prison Overcrowding

One of Gov. Bob Riley's first administrative moves this month will be devising a plan to clear up the prison overcrowding situation at Tutwiler Prison for women in Wetumpka.

Attorneys for the women prisoners argue that the prison is not only overcrowded, but also understaffed and has dangerous open dorms.

The attorneys want a federal judge to order the state to add 58 new prison guards at Tutwiler.

They say the state has had enough time to fix overcrowding at Tutwiler.

Tutwiler was built in the 1940's to house a maximum of 364 prisoners.
Currently there are 997.

Gov. Riley has hired a consultant to do a 60-day study to find a solution, but workers at the Southern Center for Human Rights say they don't have time to wait.

Prison officials submitted a plan that promised to ask the legislature for $60 million to build a new women's prison.

However, attorneys for the prisoners say the state is offering long-term plans when something needs to be done immediately.