MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Today, the Treasury Department issued its final rules on how states may use the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which noted in the overview that “Treasury presumes that the following capital projects are generally ineligible: Construction of new correctional facilities as a response to an increase in rate of crime; Construction of new congregate facilities to decrease spread of COVID-19 in the facility.”
However, the State of Alabama had planned to spend $400 million dollars of these funds to build new state prisons, which would consume about 20 percent of Alabama’s total COVID-19 relief funds.
JaTaune Bosby, executive director, ACLU of Alabama said:
“Governor Ivey and other state leaders have been unsuccessful in trying to build these prisons for years now, and even though they made the gesture of asking the Treasury Department whether they could use this money for prison construction, they never waited for an answer before rushing ahead. Now, the department has issued their final rules, and as we knew all along, spending COVID-19 relief funds on prison construction is inappropriate, particularly while healthcare workers, teachers, small business owners, and so many other people in Alabama are struggling during this ongoing pandemic.
But it’s not too late for Governor Ivey and the Legislature to do the right thing and stop this irrational plan, which is not effective in addressing the real crisis facing Alabama prisons and those incarcerated. They have all the power to change course, reallocate these funds towards what Alabamians really need, and avoid having the federal government get involved – again.”
Treasury Department’s Final Rules on Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds:
Overview of Final Rules:
ACLU of Alabama’s Letter to the US House Financial Services Committee:
Alabama Department of Corrections Letter to Treasury Department: