State signs $623 million contract for 4,000-inmate prison

 1558745399 
1651491808
Alabama Prison Inmates

Mary Scott Hodgin, WBHM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama officials have signed a $623 million contract to build a new 4,000-inmate prison in Elmore County, part of a sweeping construction plan that will be partly funded by pandemic relief dollars.

A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey confirmed last week the state signed a contract with Caddell Construction Co., effective April 15 for construction of a specialized men’s prison facility in Elmore County. The Alabama Department of Corrections on Friday released a redacted copy of the contract. The document indicated the “initial guaranteed maximum price” for the contract is $623 million, an amount that two key lawmakers said matched initial cost projections.

“We are anxious to get this going. We need these facilities pretty badly. I’m excited that we are going forward with it,” Republican Sen. Greg Albritton said.

Alabama lawmakers this fall approved a $1.3 billion prison construction plan that will use $400 million from the state’s share of American Rescue Plan funds to help pay for the construction. The construction plan included the new prison in Elmore County with at least 4,000 beds and enhanced space for medical and mental health care needs.

Ivey in October called the construction plan, “a pivotal moment” for improving the state’s criminal justice system. Critics of the plan said it did not address the prison system’s underlying problems, such as low staffing, and was not a proper use of pandemic relief funds.

The approved legislation also included another prison with at least 4,000 beds in Escambia County, a new women’s prison and renovations to existing facilities.

Lawmakers had expected one of the construction contracts to go to Montgomery-based Caddell Construction. The legislation specified that, instead of the normal bid process, the state instead could negotiate directly with entities that were part of development teams that qualified for the projects under a lease plan Ivey’s administration had pursued but abandoned. Lawmakers said that would save time and build on the work already done.

 

2022 Alabama primary results

Statewide races include governor, U.S. Senate, attorney general and secretary of state.

How will Avis Williams lead New Orleans Public Schools? Look to her work in Selma

Avis Williams transformed Selma, Alabama’s schools during her five years as superintendent. Now, she’s set to lead New Orleans’ all-charter school system.

Alabama Republicans weigh-in on their favorite primary candidates 

Nine Republicans are for governor in Alabama and six for an open U.S. Senate seat.

Regional Edward R. Murrow honors awarded to WBHM, Gulf States Newsroom

WBHM 90.3 FM and the Gulf States Newsroom won 13 of the 18 regional Edward R. Murrow awards for 2022, including Overall Excellence for WBHM for the second year in a row.

Alabama Democrats hope for improved showing in 2022 elections

Republicans hold all statewide offices plus supermajorities in the state legislature. But Alabama Democrats are in a good position this year, according to the head of the Alabama Democratic Party.

Ivey, challengers race to right in Alabama GOP primary

The race was supposed to be a cake walk for Gov. Kay Ivey, who still remains favored to win a second full term. But right flank opponents are trying to make it a referendum on her conservative credentials.

More Front Page Coverage