Say NO to the Alabama Mega Prison
Say NO to the Alabama Mega Prison
Why this petition matters
Gov. Kay Ivey has decided on a plan to build a mega prison on a cotton field in Tallassee, Alabama. Ironically racist due to the fact that Alabama has one of the largest populations of African American residents in the United States. With over 26% of the population identifying as black or African American, this state ranks 7th when compared to the other 49 states. This large population is a result of slaves that were brought to the region, which was known as the "Black Belt." Following the abolishment of slavery after the Civil War, many African Americans settled in this region to work in agriculture. One of the largest known forms of African American slavery is picking cotton. And a mega prison is about to be built, and will be primarily used to incarcerate black people for nonviolent crimes, on a cotton field in Alabama, a historically racist state.
“Though strictly the name of a physical region, the term Black Belt has been borrowed by social scientists to denote those areas of the South where the plantation system, with its large number of black slaves, predominated before the Civil War.” https://www.britannica.com/science/region-geography
On Oct. 2, Governor Kay Ivey announced the proposed site for a new state prison in Elmore County. The location is located off Alabama Highway 229 and Rifle Range Road, just outside of Tallassee’s city limits. The site is one of three prisons planned for the state. Two other prisons are set to be built in Escambia and Bibb counties. ADOC expects construction on all three new prisons to start early next year.
Prisons and jails across the country show a steep racial disparity, and Alabama is no different. According to a 2016 study from the Sentencing Project, black people are incarcerated in state prisons at a rate five times higher than the rate for white people.
In Alabama, the black incarceration rate is 1,417 per 100,000 black people. The white rate is just 425 per 100,000 white people.
The rate for black people in Alabama is 3.3 times higher than for white people.
For Alabama, the number of people that go to jail is around 90,000 people every year, or roughly 1,850 people per 100,000. That rate is 11th highest in the country.
Alabama Population 2020
Black or African American: 26.58%
Two or more races: 1.88%
Other race: 1.44%
Native American: 0.53%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%
total Alabama inmates: 25,391
black males: 12,818
black females: 560
white males: 10,093
white females: 1,652
other males: 188
other females: 8
Alabama’s deadly, overcrowded prisons, already under threat of a federal takeover, will become even more crowded, largely due to a dramatic reduction in the number of paroles being granted.
Since September 2019, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles denied the release of 92 percent of people who were scheduled for parole hearings and the state Bureau of Pardons and Paroles has also drastically reduced the number of inmates being granted those hearings.
In 2019, at least 28 people died in Alabama Department of Corrections custody due to homicide, suicide or overdoses.
In April 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report that states there is reasonable cause to believe that Alabama’s prisons are in violation of the Constitution by failing to protect inmates from violence and sexual assault.
Most of this state’s correctional facilities don’t even have air conditioning. Inmates in Alabama prisons are killed at nearly 9x the national rate.
Even Donald Trump’s Justice Department called the southern state’s correction system “unconstitutional.”
In 2013, Alabama was 3rd in state prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes.
Alabama needs to focus on the already incarcerated and rehabilitated.
Join this petition if you’re against the injustice in Alabama. Join this petition if you care enough about our state to DO SOMETHING.