Lawmakers urge special session on state prisons

Published: May. 16, 2019 at 7:11 PM CDT
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to call a special session as the state attempts to respond to scathing Department of Justice findings regarding state prisons.

Leaders of both parties held a Thursday press conference to discuss legislators' attempts to respond to the Justice Department.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Cam Ward said lawmakers are working on sentencing reform, prison construction, staffing issues and other matters. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said there is not enough time remaining in the legislative session to address prisons.

The U.S. Department of Justice last month issued a report that condemned state prisons for excessive violence, inmate deaths and a critical staffing shortage. The Justice Department directed the state to make changes or face a civil lawsuit.

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