New prison proposal chooses jails over construction - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

New prison proposal chooses jails over construction

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama House representatives Allen Farley, Johnny Mac Morrow and Mike Holmes proposed a prison proposal of their own Wednesday.

The plan comes in response to a prison plan that passed through the house, which would cost the state more than a billion dollars over 30 years.

The new proposal would allow state prisoners to be held in local prisons for $30 a day. Currently the average cost per day is a little more than $47 per inmate for the state prison system.

Morrow, D- District 18, and Farley, R- District 15, claim this plan could reduce overcrowding and prevent the state from spending over a billion dollars. 

The governor's office disagrees with the plan. Wesley Helton, the governor's legislative director, called the numbers in the new plan flawed. He said unless prisons are closed, the plan to send inmates to jails will only end up costing the state more than 50 million a year. 

“What this does is just takes an inmate, plucks them from a state facility and puts them in a county jail where they have even less resources than state penitentiaries do,” Helton said.

Helton said the savings of sending inmates to local jails would only save around $5, while costing the state $30. 

The reason for the small savings is that moving inmates around won't reduce the cost of prison upkeep or staffing. 

Farley will carry the bill when lawmakers return for spring break next week.

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