MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) - Five companies are expressing interest in building new prisons for the state of Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday that five firms responded to a "request for qualifications" to build the three proposed prisons.

Ivey's press office said the firms are The GEO Group, Corvias, Corrections Consultants, CoreCivic and Alabama Prison Transformation Partners.

GEO and CoreCivic are the nation's two largest private prison companies.

Ivey in February announced a plan to build three new large prisons to replace most state prisons.

Ivey has said state officials will first gather proposals and then decide how to proceed. The administration says the state could lease the prisons.

Prison system spokesman Bob Horton says the prison system will evaluate the companies' qualifications and seek more detailed proposals from qualified companies in the fall.

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