MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn presented his budget request to lawmakers Thursday.
The department requested $42 million more to bring a $563 million budget. The state’s prisons are known to be overcrowded, understaffed, and violent.
Part of the money would go toward hiring more correctional officers. Dunn said the total number of additional security staff would add up to 700 more officers.
Dunn has continuously said boots on the ground is the department's first priority. He said the court has ordered the department have 2,200 more officers by 2022.
The budget request would also pay for 104 additional medical and mental health care professionals.
The U.S. Department of Justice has threatened to sue the state because of the violent conditions inside of the men's prisons. Drugs, cell phones and weapons have been found behind the walls.
“Contraband is directly related to overcrowding and understaffing," he said.
Other departments funded by the General Fund budget submitted their requests to lawmakers.
The legislative session begins on Feb. 4.