Alabama is using COVID money to build prisons — and the governor is justifying it by attacking the government. Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) is dismissing criticisms of her new plan to use COVID relief funds to pay for more prisons. Alabama has an incarceration rate of 938 per 100,000 people, reported the Prison Policy Project. It far surpasses the U.S. average with rates dramatically increasing over the last 40 years. The overwhelming number of people incarcerated in Alabama are Black or Hispanic.
Costs of prison phone calls are throwing some families into debt. Many of us have felt the isolation the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into our lives, but few have felt that isolation more than people in prison. But even more pressing is the cost of those calls that have plagued inmates and their friends and families for years.
There Are Fewer People Behind Bars Now Than 10 Years Ago. Will It Last? Census data show incarceration rates are down. It may have more to do with the pandemic than broad reforms. Nearly two million adults were incarcerated across the country, according to the 2020 Decennial Census. The latest figures show a 13% drop in the total number of incarcerated people, or nearly 300,000 fewer people, compared with the 2010 Census.