AL prisons big beneficiary of ed. stimulus money

MOBILE, AL (AP) - The biggest recipient of Alabama's federal stimulus dollars for education is not a school system or college. It's the state prison system.

An analysis by the Press-Register in Mobile shows that the state Department of Corrections has received $118 million of Alabama's $1.1 billion in federal stimulus funds for education since 2009. Officials said the money covered health care costs for 26,000 inmates and salaries and benefits for about 4,200 corrections officers and other employees for 3 1/2 months.

The stimulus program allows governors to spend up to 18% of the funding in areas other than education, such as public safety.

Mobile County schools came in second at nearly $77 million.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.