Abandoned Military Bases

Gov. Bob Riley is considering transforming some Alabama military bases into prisons to ease overcrowding.

But the prospect of inmates at the Old Fort McClellan doesn't sit well with officials overseeing the revival of the abandoned Army site.

A Riley spokesman said the new governor's interest in military sites for use as prisons follows his request for cabinet members to "think outside the box."

Riley has not made a final decision on the matter and would consider the economic impact before taking any action.

Last week, Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation Commissioner Kathy Sawyer suggested using mental health centers to house prison inmates while consolidating some of the state's 14 mental health centers.