Cost of Super-Sized Alabama Prison Balloons Past $1 Billion

The budget for a new Alabama super-size prison now under construction rose to more than $1 billion, eating into most of the $1.25 billion that lawmakers in 2021 initially agreed to spend to build two prisons each housing 4,000 inmates, reports the Washington Post. The planned 4,000-bed prison in Elmore County, including facilities for medical care and vocational training, is expected to be completed in May of 2026. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey blamed inflation for the price escalation, but said the facility is needed. “The new prison facilities being built in Alabama are critically important to public safety, to our criminal justice system and to Alabama as a whole,” Ivey said. “We have not built new prisons in more than 30 years, and if it was easy, it would have been attempted by a governor before me.”

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