prison understaffing

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says his department needs additional funding to hire 500 more corrections officers.

Dunn discussed the request Wednesday during budget hearings before state lawmakers. He says the agency is seeking a $42 million funding increase, part of which would be used to add officers and to raise officers' pay. Dunn argues there is a direct correlation between the department's staffing shortage and "unacceptably high" rates of violence in prisons.

Alabama’s prison system is on trial once again starting today.

The next phase of hearings regarding health and mental health care for Alabama state inmates begins today in Montgomery. Back in June, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled the system was “horrendously inadequate” and had to change. These hearings are all about how Alabama’s Department of Corrections plans to make those changes.