State might lease prisons, instead of building them

Prison Chain Gang

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s options for replacing state prisons could include leasing facilities built by a private firm.

Ivey in her inaugural address Monday said that she would be announcing a prison plan in the coming days.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton wrote in a Friday email that the department is evaluating the possible construction of three new regional men’s correctional facilities.

Horton said the analysis will evaluate the best approach for constructing the facilities “either through a bond issue, or a build-lease option.”

Legislators in 2017 rejected a prison construction bill because of concerns about the price tag and job losses when existing prisons closed.

State Sen. Cam Ward said one option before Ivey is to contract with a company that builds prisons and “lease it back.”

Republished with permission from the Associated Press.