MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said the department is seeking funding to hire 500 additional corrections officers.
Dunn discussed the request Wednesday during budget hearings before state lawmakers. He said there is a direct correlation between a staffing shortage and "unacceptably high" violence in prisons.
Dunn said the additional 500 officers is also a "down payment" on an order from a federal judge to add as many as 2,000 correctional officers to state prisons.
The prison commissioner also told lawmakers that Gov. Kay Ivey is reviewing options for building new state prisons. One option under consideration is to lease facilities built by private developers.
Ivey in her inaugural address earlier this month spotlighted the need for "replacing costly, at-risk prison facilities." Ivey said she would soon be announcing a proposal.