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Alabama trying to use COVID relief funds for new prisons

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By KIM CHANDLER
Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are beginning a special session on a $1.3 billion prison construction plan. Gov. Kay Ivey called lawmakers back to Montgomery on Monday to vote on the proposal to build at least three new prisons and renovate others. The plan would use $400 million of pandemic relief funds to help pay for the construction. Alabama faces a Department of Justice lawsuit over the state’s notoriously violent prisons. Ivey says improved infrastructure could stave off federal intervention in the prison system. But critics say the problems go beyond building conditions and the state shouldn’t use pandemic relief dollars to build prisons.  

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