CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

[Opinion] Prison Crowding: Saving Tax Dollars and Creating a Path to Redemption


By Cam Ward

As multiple recent state and national news stories have illustrated, overcrowded state prisons is one of the key challenges facing Alabama. While the State Legislature has made significant strides over the past few years in the area of criminal justice reform, Alabama’s prisons are still at about 166% of capacity. This creates a dangerous environment for prison guards, healthcare providers, and the inmates themselves. There are multiple solutions we need to pursue. We need to build newer, more efficient prisons that require fewer correctional officers, and we must continue to identify ways of punishing non-violent, first-time offenders that don’t involve extended prison stays.

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