Gov. Bentley announces plans to overhaul Alabama's overcrowded p - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Bentley announces plans to overhaul Alabama's overcrowded prison system

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Gov. Robert Bentley announced Tuesday, June 10, 2014, an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system. (Gov. Robert Bentley/Twitter) Gov. Robert Bentley announced Tuesday, June 10, 2014, an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system. (Gov. Robert Bentley/Twitter)
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Robert Bentley has announced an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system.

Bentley said Tuesday the state's prisons are filled to nearly twice their collective capacity. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a partnership between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Department of Justice, will examine the system and suggest reforms.

The review comes after a series of stark criticisms. The Department of Justice has called conditions unconstitutional at Alabama's only prison for women.

State Sen. Cam Ward, who chairs the new task force, says the state can either fix its prison system, or the federal government will intervene and order changes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday also released a report detailing what a lawyer called atrocious problems with medical care in Alabama prisons.

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