Negotiations continue on Alabama prison construction bill

Updated: Mar. 7, 2017 at 6:01 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Lawmakers are continuing to negotiate over Gov. Robert Bentley's prison construction proposal.

The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed a vote Tuesday on a scaled-back plan that would build two or three prisons. Bentley had wanted to construct four.

Committee Chairman Cam Ward, the sponsor of the bill, said the scaled-back plan will go before the committee Thursday. Ward said lawmakers also are jettisoning Bentley's idea to use a single designer-builder for the project.

Bentley had originally proposed an $800 million bond issue to build four large regional prisons and close most existing facilities.

State prisons have come under criticism for overcrowding, understaffing and violence.

Alabama prisons house more than 23,000 inmates in facilities built for about 13,000. A corrections officer died after being stabbed last year.

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