State Senator Elliott slams Ivey government for lack of progress on new mega-prisons – ‘Let’s move on’

Not much is known about the construction progress of the two new mega-prisons that were approved by the Alabama legislature after a special session in 2021.

It was believed that the two facilities, one in Escambia County and the other in Elmore County, were needed immediately as the Alabama Department of Justice remains under federal control.

However, progress on facilities is lacking, according to State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine).

During an appearance on Mobile Radio FM Talk 106.5, Elliott criticized the Ivey administration for how the executive branch originally handled the process and how the corrections system could fall further behind unless more prison capacity is planned.

“Not good,” the Baldwin County legislature replied when asked about the progress. “I mean, that’s the short answer. The Executive Branch has been talking about the need for more prisons for the longest time. The Executive Branch has long lamented the inability of the Legislature to work on this issue and has attempted to go around the Legislature to resolve this issue — really sucking all the oxygen out of the Legislature’s reasoning and need for action while trying to unilaterally solving this problem, not solving this problem, and then the legislature grabbed at the pieces of Governor Ivey’s failed prison program and was able to do what we knew we had to do all along, namely to finance the construction of new prisons. And lawmakers did that in a special session over a year ago.

“Now it’s up to the Executive Branch to carry out that plan and get those prisons going, especially the one in Escambia County that’s still not moving,” Elliott continued. “The money is here. The drafts are there. Let’s move on, and we need to move this forward fast. And then, honestly, Jeff, I think we need to start talking about whether we need more prisons as we go along, because as the population increases and crime increases, and as we start prosecuting more criminals, and when hopefully we start putting more criminals in jail where they belong after our law enforcement officers have worked so hard to put them in jail, then maybe we need to do very well look at more jails.”

“Well, I’m ready to go. I’m ready for the governor to go,” he added. “I’m ready to get this going. It’s taking too long, let’s move on.”

During an interview with Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” in November, Ivey insisted that the Elmore County facility would be completed in the first quarter of 2026. shortly thereafter” the Elmore County project.

Jeff Poor is Editor-in-Chief of 1819 News and host of “The Jeff Poor Show,” available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Mobiles FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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