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July 2019 Group Watch: Possible Prison Takeover?

While the focus has shifted from state politics to national and presidential politics, a possible special session of the legislature to address Alabama’s beleaguered prison system is still on the horizon. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice advised the state government that some of the current men’s prisons were in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution’s “cruel and unusual punishment” provision. It also implied that if measures were not taken to improve the situation, the prison system could face action from the federal government, which could come in the form of a takeover. Recently, State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) echoed that reminder during a radio talk show. He seems to think that a special legislative session is looming for early 2020.

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