Editorial: We can't afford the governor's new prisons

Editorial: We can't afford the governor's new prisons

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Governor wants to build new prisons. This, of course, will not come free. In fact, it will come at a price tag of $800 million dollars.

Once these four new prisons are built, the state will shutter 14 existing prisons and the prisoners will be transferred to the new structures.

The Governor says the savings from closing the existing prisons will cover the cost of a 1.5 billion 30 year bond needed to spend on the new facilities. When has the government ever come in at or under a price stated for any construction?

What happens to the communities where the prisons are currently located when they are closed?  There are some communities that will be devastated if the existing prisons are closed.

There is a discussion that the closed prisons could be used for other purposes, such as, I don't know, an antique mall with each cell rented out to a vendor. At least the merchandise will be protected as they can lock it up at night.

Our prisons are overcrowded and old, but I am not sure the governor's plan is the solution; we cannot afford it.

Our state government will be using $100 million of the BP money to support our current shortfall in the general fund budget next year.  This means we will already be $100 million short next year and if the prison bill passes could add  $50 plus million to the budget for the next 30 years

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