Draper Correctional, AL's oldest prison, set to close

Updated: Nov. 16, 2017 at 4:34 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore will no longer house inmates or be used as a correctional facility, the Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.

ADOC officials said the department has spent the past two years looking into its staffing levels and forming a plan that will consolidate operations in selected facilities.

A 2017 report by the architectural and engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood concluded that Draper, the state's oldest prison, has outlived its useful life. The facility, built in 1938, would have needed more than $30 million in repairs to meet minimum standards, the report concluded.

Draper was designed to house 600 inmates and now houses close to 1000. The facility will be repurposed for vocational and educational training programs for inmates housed in nearby facilities and it will be led by J.F. Ingram State Technical College.

Draper's staff will be reassigned to major facilities in Elmore and Montgomery counties. Inmates will be moved to other major correctional facilities. The changes will increase the staffing levels at Elmore, Staton, Kilby, and Tutwiler correctional facilities by 20 to 25 percent.

Inmates will also be moved out of the Childersburg Work Release Center in North Alabama and the property will be transferred to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. The center will be repurposed as a Life Tech Transition Center and will provide vocation, education and life skills training to parolees as they transition back into society.

The work release center staff will be offered positions at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville and other facilities, and some of the inmates will be moved to St. Clair. Remaining inmates will be moved to other minimum custody level facilities.

The plan to repurpose both of the facilities is made to decrease inmate population and increase correctional facility staffing across the state.

Plans will be implemented starting in March 2018.

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