The Daily Beast

Inside Alabama’s Sick Plan to Spend COVID Cash on Prisons

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It took Alabama lawmakers just five days last week to move a plan to build more prisons—in part, thanks to $400 million in COVID relief dollars—from a bill to a law.

For years, Alabama’s prisons have been among the country’s most inhumane, marked by “an excessive amount of violence, sexual abuse, and prisoner deaths… on a regular basis,” according to a 2019 report from the Department of Justice. The well-documented human rights abuses in Alabama’s prisons have only worsened as the state has registered one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the nation.

But instead of addressing the disastrous conditions that typify its treatment of incarcerated people, Governor Kay Ivey and state legislators fast-tracked a prison construction project that is likely to exacerbate over-incarceration—and which misdirects coronavirus rescue funds to boot.

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