Alabama GOP Governor signs bills to use Covid-19 relief funds to erect prisons into law
Ivey, a Republican, had called a special session of the Alabama legislature to discuss how to resolve what she called a decades-long problem with problems with prison infrastructure. The governor said Friday’s signing of the bill was the culmination of hard work and conversations between lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“I would like to personally thank the legislative leaders who stand behind me here, for a successful special session, and what we believe will bring untold benefits to all Alabamians in the days to come,” Ivey said.
The state legislature gave its final approval on Friday.
Using federal money on prisons would help all Alabamians, according to Ivey, who pitched the idea as easing the burden on taxpayers during prison construction.
“Directing funding to protect our citizens from a pandemic to fuel mass incarceration is in direct violation of the objectives of ARP legislation and will particularly harm communities of color that are already disproportionately affected by over-incarceration. and this public health crisis, ”the New York Democrat wrote. “It should not be used to aggravate our national problem of over-incarceration.”
The Treasury Department did not respond to a request for comment on Ivey’s statements.
Pastor Robert White, who heads the Legal Advocacy Group, which advocates for the rights of detainees, previously told CNN that “we could use this money for mental health, on our sewage system. Covid is still ongoing; we should be using that money on our health care system. ”
“We’re not saying prisons don’t need to be built. We’re saying this money has to go to mental health, to education, not to a plantation in the middle of nowhere. The problem doesn’t change. . The killings don’t stop you, ”he continued.
CNN’s Rachel Janfaza and Chandelis Duster contributed to this report.