Prison overcrowding to spark state review - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Prison overcrowding to spark state review

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MONTGOMERY - AL -
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has announced a plan to overhaul the state's overcrowded prison system.
    
Bentley says 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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