Alabama Corrections Department asks if COVID money can be spent on prisons

Jul 19, 2021

Alabama is asking Washington if it can spend COVID-19 relief dollars on the State's ailing prison system. . The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department asking the question. Dunn framed the request as enhancing health care and programming for inmates. Lawmakers have previously said they want to know if pandemic recovery funds can be used for prison construction and renovations. The question arose after Governor Kay Ivey's plan to lease prisons fell apart because of financing concerns. Alabama Public Radio's six month investigation into prison reform in the State in 2016 helped prompt the DOJ to begin an investigation. APR's documentary "...and justice for all" was recognized with a national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists.