MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) announced Thursday the developer teams selected to construct new mega-prisons in the state.
The developer teams had submitted proposals in May in response to the ADOC’s Request for Proposal (RFP) to improve the state’s prison infrastructure.
An evaluation committee comprised of stakeholders from the ADOC and Alabama Department of Finance, including the Division of Construction Management, conducted a thorough evaluation of the proposals submitted by pre-qualified developer teams. They subsequently made award recommendations to ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn.
The ADOC intends to enter into negotiations with the following developer teams to construct new facilities at the following proposed sites:
- Facility one: Alabama Prison Transformation Partners (Star America; BL Harbert International; Butler-Cohen; Arrington Watkins Architects; and Johnson Controls, Inc.) with a proposed site located near AL-139/CR-2 in Bibb County.
- Facility two: CoreCivic (CoreCivic; Caddell Construction; DLR Group; and R&N Systems Design) with a proposed site in Elmore County (multiple locations under review; proposed site to be shared at a later date).
- Facility three: CoreCivic (CoreCivic; Caddell Construction; DLR Group; and R&N Systems Design) with a proposed site located near Bell Fork Road in Escambia County.
Through Alabama’s new prison plan, the companies will build three men’s prisons and lease them to the state. Republican state senator Cam Ward said the state has no choice but to move forward with a plan.
“The legislators have failed two or three times to pass this, but there’s a dire need to get it done,” Ward said.
Democratic state senator Roger Smitherman is concerned about the consolidation and the impact it could have on prison staff.
“We have state employees who work in these facilities now and ones that work in the facilities that are going to be closed. Those people should not lose their jobs,” Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D- Birmingham said.
Smitherman supports the plan, but also calls for a plan to keep people from returning to prison.
“We need the facilities, but we need the facility for these violent folks. We need to get them off the street. Got to be able to address the people who we know are going to come out—the people who are not violent.”
ADOC anticipates construction to begin in early 2021. The Department estimates that construction of the new facilities will create thousands of construction jobs: facility one (Bibb County) – 2,900 construction jobs; facility two (Elmore County) – 3,900 construction jobs; and facility three (Escambia County) – 2,800 construction jobs.
“This important benchmark demonstrates meaningful progress against our multi-faceted strategy to transform Alabama’s correctional system and empowers the ADOC to shift to a rehabilitative model,” ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn said.
“It is no secret that the ADOC is facing real, longstanding challenges, most of which are decades in the making and rooted in inadequate, crowded, and structurally failing facilities. Building new facilities that improve safety and security for staff and inmates and allow for effective inmate rehabilitation is the right and only path forward,” Dunn said.
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