Alabama’s Elmore County is set to become the home of the most expensive prison in US history, with a price tag of $1.08 billion. The state’s Corrections Institution Finance Authority (CIFA) has approved the final cost for a 4,000-bed facility that will replace several existing prisons in the state.
Why is Alabama Building the Most Expensive Prison in US History?
The project is part of a larger plan to reform Alabama’s prison system, which has been plagued by overcrowding, violence, and lawsuits over poor living conditions and human rights violations. According to the US Department of Justice, Alabama’s prisons house more than 160% of their design capacity, and have the highest homicide rate in the nation.
The new prison, which will be built and operated by a private company called CoreCivic, is expected to provide more space, security, and services for inmates and staff. The state claims that the facility will save money in the long run by reducing maintenance and operational costs, and by improving rehabilitation outcomes.
Why Alabama Building the Most Expensive Prison is Fueling Conspiracy Theories
However, not everyone is convinced that the new prison is worth the investment. Some critics argue that the state is spending too much on a single facility that will not address the root causes of mass incarceration. They say that the money could have been better spent on mental health resources and counseling, which would have reduced the prison population and the need for new prisons.
Conspiracy theorists also question the role of CoreCivic, which has a history of controversies and scandals involving its management of prisons across the country. Some of these include allegations of abuse, neglect, corruption, and escape attempts. Some lawmakers and activists have also raised concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in the contract between the state and the company.
The construction of the new prison is expected to begin later this year and be completed by 2026. It will be one of three new prisons that the state plans to build as part of its prison reform initiative. The other two prisons, which will have a combined capacity of 7,000 beds, are still in the bidding process and have not been finalized yet.