MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — As lawmakers prepare to return to Montgomery for a special session on state prisons, Governor Ivey is speaking out on why she called for the session and her fears of what happens if lawmakers don’t act.
The governor says it’s time fix the state’s prison problems before the federal government steps in and does so.
“We’ve got an Alabama problem and we’re going to give it an Alabama solution,” Ivey said before the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery on Tuesday.
The plan has been worked on for months between lawmakers in the statehouse and the governor’s office.
“They are getting closer and closer to wanting to intervene and that’s something we cannot let happen. If they take over, they’ll turn prisoner’s out, no questions asked,” Ivey said.
The governor also responded to criticism that just building new prisons won’t solve the ongoing issues in a prison system that’s been neglected for decades.
“You can’t do anything to improve the lifestyle and the teaching and training and the drug therapy and the healthcare unless you’ve got a good facility to do it and good correction’s staff working it to get that done,” Ivey said.
Lawmakers say part of the more than $1 billion price tag will come from bonds and money from the general fund, but several hundred million could come from federal COVID-19 relief money.
The special session is set to begin next Monday, September 27.
And even though a special session can last up to a month, Governor Ivey says she’s hopeful it can be wrapped in just one week.