Stimulus from Alabama: Why Using Federal Funds to Build Prisons Is a Bad Investment


FMessages were sent out from the US federal government with the idea that states would use this money to help their citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that message did not seem to get through. Alabamaas they use this money to build new prisons.

In late September, a special legislative meeting was held at which state legislators challenged their communities’ calls and pushed through a measure that would use $ 400 million in federal aid funds to build new prisons and renovate other prisons. the total cost is $ 1.3 billion.

State Alabama According to the Faith’s Institute of Justice, blacks make up 28 percent of the total population, but they make up 43 percent of inmates and 54 percent of inmates.

Protest against this idea

A few months ago, a group of investors, business leaders and social justice advocates successfully pressured Barclays, KeyBanc and others to pull out of funding a $ 630 million taxable municipal bond that would enable private-funded construction of two new prisons. … prison firm CoreCivic.

State Alabama also currently facing legal action by the US Department of Justice due to the brutal nature of their prisons, with many blacks and browns allegedly subjected to unconstitutional use of force.

Government and lawmakers ignore criticism

Despite this, Governor Kay Ivy and Alabama Legislators are determined to build more prisons and are now ready to use COVID-19 funds to do so, even though they only recently found themselves in a situation where intensive care beds are now available after being filled with mostly (79 percent) unvaccinated adults.

“While our prison infrastructure is broken, our ability to govern is not,” said Ivy

Rather than spending money on much-needed wage increases for healthcare workers or improving hospital facilities in the light of the pandemic that we are experiencing and are experiencing so far, more attention has been paid to projects that are not related to what the funding was intended for.

Other careless examples

In Galveston County, Texas, county officials have decided to spend $ 6.6 million in aid funds on security along the US-Mexican border.

In Wyoming, meanwhile, one MP has proposed using funds to counter President Joe Biden’s introduction of a vaccine for businesses.

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