Lawmakers OK bill that could give Ala. new prison

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The state of Alabama may soon have its
first new prison since 1997.

The Alabama House approved a bill in the final minutes of the 2010 session Thursday night to permit a $60 million bond issue that would allow the state to buy the privately owned Perry County Detention Center near Uniontown.

Prison officials say they badly need the space in the 750-bed facility.

The current owners say after being refurbished the prison could house up to 2,000 inmates.

Alabama currently has over 31,000 in a system designed to hold less than half that number.

Local officials say the jobs at the prison are badly needed in a poor county with unemployment near 20 percent.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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