The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled the state prison system can charge work release inmates for providing transportation to their jobs and other associated costs.
A group of inmates had challenged the Department of Corrections over charging $5 for a round trip to work and other items, including laundry of their work clothes. The inmates said state law limited the department to withholding 40 percent of their earnings, and the department was already doing that before adding the extra charges.
Family members of convicted murderer Andrew Lackey visited with him briefly at Holman Prison in Atmore Tuesday, two days before his scheduled execution Thursday.
Prisons spokesman Brian Corbett said the 30-year-old Lackey was moved at 4 p.m. Tuesday into a holding cell near the death chamber at Holman, where a lethal injection is scheduled to be administered at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Corbett said Lackey's mother, father, aunt and brother visited for about an hour and a half Tuesday.
Alabama's prison system is getting dozens of new officers, but officials say it's still badly understaffed.
The Department of Corrections is holding a graduation ceremony in Selma on Thursday for 70 new correctional officers. It's the first of three corrections classes planned for this year at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center.
But department spokesman Brian Corbett says the agency loses more than 20 officers a month through attrition, so the new officers only make up for three months of normal turnover.
It's up to a federal judge in Montgomery to decide if the Alabama Department of Corrections can continue to isolate inmates who have tested positive for HIV even though the virus is no longer considered a death sentence.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson heard arguments made during the month-long trial challenging Alabama's decades-old policy of mostly separating HIV-positive inmates from other prisoners.