Inmate Housing

State corrections are considering erecting tents to house more than a thousand state convicts waiting for transfers from county facilities.

Governor Siegelman's legal adviser, Ted Hosp, says tents would be a last resort if the state can't negotiate terms with counties to house the prisoners.

Houston County Sheriff Lamar Glover was instrumental in taking legal action against the state, forcing them to pick up inmates from the jails as required by state law. But Hosp said the state can't afford to pay the $2.1 million contempt fine levied by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge William Shashy.

The judge ordered the state last month to remove the state inmates within 90 days. The state has now missed the deadline.

If the state hasn't fully complied with his order by July 26th, Shashy says he will direct the state comptroller to start writing checks to counties for what is owed for housing state inmates.

Then, if state inmates are not removed within 90 days, the counties may ask to have Prison Commissioner Mike Haley jailed for contempt of court.