Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s study group recently held its first meeting to find possible solutions for longstanding prison problems in order to avoid a Department of Justice lawsuit.
According to Governor Ivey, the group will gather data on sentencing reform, policies, and other issues and make recommendations ahead of the 2020 legislative session. The Department of Justice issued a report in April that revealed excessive levels of violence and inmate deaths in Alabama prisons.
The report also listed a critical staff shortage being one of the reasons why these poor conditions are existing. The state has raised correctional officer pay in an effort to boost staff. A series of searches that seized weapons and drugs is what has also been fueling prison violence.
Governor Ivey also is aware of the overcrowding problem and is exploring a plan to build four new prisons. State Attorney, Bill Lunsford says a settlement agreement might be reached by the end of the year.