Senate Committee Approves Prison Consolidation Plan
A Senate budget committee approved a prison construction bill Wednesday. The bill would close 14 state prisons and build four large regional facilities. Senator Cam Ward was among the bill’s supporters, citing prison overcrowding issues.
“Everyone says well you can’t build — and I’ve said this before — you can’t build your way out of the prison capacity problem, but you have to replace some of these facilities,” Ward said after the meeting.
To fund the project, the state would borrow $800 million through a bond issue. The vote followed recent prisoner uprisings at Holman Correctional Facility in Escambia County. The vote was 15-1, with Senator Paul Sanford of Huntsville casting the sole vote against the measure.