Julia Tutwiler Prison, Wetumpka, Alabama

HB 468, sponsored by State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa), was signed into law today by Governor Kay Ivey.

HB 468 provides a two-step raise for certain employees of the Alabama Department of Corrections and expands the incentive program to include bonuses for additional training achievements.

The bill comes as a Department of Justice investigation found that Alabama’s prison system is violating the Constitutional rights inmates by not providing safe conditions due to severely understaffed prisons.

Governor Ivey and her administration have made improving Alabama’s prison system a top priority.

“While there is no single solution to the multi-faceted, complex problems of Alabama’s prison system, this legislation is an important step in fully staffing our correctional facilities,” Governor Ivey said. “This bill will go a long way in improving our recruitment and retention efforts, while addressing our understaffed prisons. I’m encouraged by the Legislature’s tireless efforts and willingness to find common ground to provide an ‘Alabama solution to this Alabama problem.'”

The goal of HB 468 is to address the under-staffing issue within the prison system by increasing pay and incentives in order to recruit new correctional officers and better retain existing ones.

England sees this as a good step forward.

“This piece of legislation will put the Department of Corrections in a much better position moving forward,” Rep. England said. “It is imperative we more adequately compensate current corrections officers in order to retain them while simultaneously giving a recruiting incentive for potential candidates in the future. This bill accomplishes these points and is why I chose to sponsor this bill.”

Brent Wilson
Brent was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and is the founder of BamaPolitics.com.