MONTGOMERY, ALA. – Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) today announced the ADOC intends to enter into negotiations with the following Developer Teams to construct new facilities at three sites, including the following proposed site in Bibb County:
- 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.
“The Alabama Prison Program is vital for the long-term success of our state and communities. We all – legislators, advocates, and taxpayers, alike – can and should agree that we must rebuild Alabama’s correctional system from the ground up to improve safety for our state’s correctional staff and inmate population, and we must do it immediately,” Governor Ivey said. “Given the failing state of the ADOC’s existing infrastructure and that the Department already is faced with more than $1 billion in deferred maintenance costs alone, pursuing new construction without raising taxes or incurring debt is the fiscally sound and responsible decision. I am pleased with the integrity of this procurement process thus far and look forward to continuing to work closely with the legislature as we comprehensively address this intricate and important issue that affects us all.”
It is estimated that the facilities will feature approximately 37% more programming space per inmate, as well as increased educational, training, and recreational/exercise space, which will provide for a more meaningful visitation experience for inmates and their loved ones. Additionally, it is projected that there will be four times more celled spaces than open dorms as compared to our current facilities, which will reduce the potential for violent incidents to occur, enhance safety for both correctional officers and inmates, and improve quality of working conditions for our staff.
The procurement process will now enter into a confidential negotiation period to ensure and secure the best possible value for the state. The ADOC intends to negotiate long-term leases for each facility. While the ADOC will operate and staff the facilities, the developer teams will provide infrastructure maintenance and life-cycle replacement for the duration of the lease term. The ADOC expects financial close for the facilities to occur in late 2020, at which time the final financial terms will become publicly available.
The 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.
“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.”
The ADOC also is exploring options surrounding the use of Perry County Correctional Facility in Uniontown as a transitional center for inmates who are preparing to re-enter society, which would be an expansion of contracted services currently provided at the Alabama Therapeutic Education Facility in Shelby County. Providing adequate and evidence-based programming while preparing inmates for re-entry is a critical cornerstone of the Department’s rehabilitation strategy.