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Prison issues, DOJ investigation, may lead to a special session in Montgomery

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Alabama lawmakers may meet in special session on prison construction this summer. This comes as Governor Kay Ivey's plan to rent prisons from private companies has been hit by setbacks. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon says lawmakers are working on a Plan B in which lawmakers would consider a bond issue to build new state-owned prisons. The lease plan faces a June deadline for the companies to secure financing. Failing that, the state or the companies can back out of the deal. Ivey’s office says the idea of a special session is only a hypothetical. This possibility comes on the heels of three inmate deaths at Alabama prisons just in the month of May. State corrections officials say the fatalities were the result of inmate on inmate violence. One of the deaths was a prisoner within a day of release. The Department of Justice is investigating whether the situation at Alabama prisons represents a constitutional violation. Click below for Alabama Public Radio’s national-winning documentary on prison reform.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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