New Private Prison in Perry County No Help to State Prison System

Published: Mar. 13, 2006 at 5:57 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 29, 2006 at 1:54 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The grand opening for a newly constructed private prison in Perry County is less than a month away, but its 625 beds may remain empty for a while -- even though there are hundreds of state inmates ready to fill it.

About 600 state inmates are backlogged in county jails, forcing a circuit judge in Montgomery to consider a contempt charge against prison Commissioner Richard Allen. The new prison, constructed by Louisiana based LCS Corrections, appears to offer an immediate solution.

But prison system officials say they don't have enough money to pay the private lockup to hold its overflow of inmates. Brian Corbett, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, is unsure how much it will cost to house the inmates. He said the informal talks with Perry County and LCS have not addressed the cost.

The Perry County lockup, scheduled to open April third, is one of the recommendations of Governor Bob Riley's task force on prison overcrowding that the Department of Corrections is charged with implementing.

The prison is designed to house low to medium security inmates and will offer drug treatment and other rehabilitative programs.

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