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Plans for Alabama’s new mega-prisons outlined

Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 3:49 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Department of Justice has said that new facilities alone won’t fix Alabama’s crippling prison problem. However, the Alabama prison construction plan includes two men’s mega-prisons and possibly a new women’s prison.

Lawmakers made it clear they see these new facilities as larger in size, but they also include better conditions for the facilities staff and inmates. The new facility in Elmore County is called a specialized men’s prison facility, designed to house at least 4,000 male inmates with designated space to offer enhanced medical and mental health treatment, substance abuse and addiction treatment and other educational programming services to inmates.

“A new facility providing a safe place for people to work, and somewhere that they can be proud of working there, I think will have a positive impact on our local job force,” said Elmore County Commissioner Troy Stubbs.

The bigger design and additional resources are expected to increase employment opportunities and have a large economic impact on the counties where they will sit.

“The prisons currently provide about $170 million annually to our local economy. We’re anticipating that to increase to about $200 million a year in addition to the fact that there are over $700 million in construction over the next four years anticipated with the new mega-prison,” Stubbs said.

Both on state-owned land, another 4,000-bed facility will be built in Escambia County near Holman Correctional Facility and the specialized men’s prison will be built in Elmore County behind the Draper and Staton correctional facilities.

“We feel that our community will be very receptive to that, again, because it’s not being placed in an area where people are not accustomed to a prison is being placed on Department of Corrections land,” Stubbs said.

And once complete, inmates from Elmore, Staton, Kilby, and St. Clair prisons will move into these new facilities, leaving those facilities that are set to close.

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