Alabama prison overcrowding

Newscast
8:24 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Charter school bill in House, prison reform bill headed to Senate, and kids "Kick Butts"

Alabama Senator Cam Ward

Lawmakers could give final approval very soon to legislation establishing charter schools in the state of Alabama.

The Alabama House of Representatives will debate a bill that would allow charter schools in the state this afternoon. That bill is expected to spark a filibuster from Democrats and other opposed lawmakers.

Charter schools are public schools that have freedom from the curriculum and regulation requirements placed on other public schools. Alabama is one of eight states without charter school legislation currently in place.

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Newscast
8:38 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Prison reform bill in Senate committee, biblical marriage rally and J.F. Drake beer course

Mary Jane Caylor, director of workforce development at J.F. Drake State Technical College

A state Senate committee is expected to vote on a reform bill today aimed at reducing overcrowding issues in Alabama prisons.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 10 AM today. The bill, among other changes, would create a new felony category, Class D, for low-level theft and drug convictions.

People convicted of class D felonies would be sent to community corrections programs instead of prison.

The bill would also mandate a period of supervision after release from prison.

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Newscast
9:08 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Prison Reform Task Force, Fred Gray speech and ACREcon

Attorney Fred Gray represented activists such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Alabama Prison Reform Task Force is currently considering a slate of recommendations from the Council of State Governments to address Alabama's poorly performing prisons.

Some of their suggestions include hiring more probation officers and creating a new, lesser felony class for low-level offenses.

The Task Force estimates that proposed changes should reduce Alabama's prison population from 200% capacity down to 162% by 2021.

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Newscast
9:49 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Free IRS Tax Software, West Alabama Works, Governor's Inauguration

Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer

The phrases "Internal Revenue Service" and "free of charge" may not seem to go together. But the people who collect your income taxes every year are offering a new system that’s available at no cost.

The FreeFile internet program is free for taxpayers who earn less than $60,000 per year. The system keeps track of your information and calculations as you fill out your tax forms and tells you if you make a mistake.

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Alabama Parole
11:58 am
Sun October 12, 2014

Researchers Say Fewer Ala. Inmates Being Paroled

Researchers say despite prison overcrowding concerns, fewer Alabama inmates are being paroled and prisoners are spending more time behind bars before being released on parole.
Credit istockphoto

Researchers say despite prison overcrowding concerns, fewer Alabama inmates are being paroled and prisoners are spending more time behind bars before being released on parole.

Council of State Governments research manager Andy Barbee tells the Montgomery Advertiser that the average length of an inmate's prison term before parole release has increased from 30 months in 2009 to 43 months in 2014. Barbee says the number of eligible inmates being released has also fallen from about 42 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2013.

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Prison Crowding
3:48 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Alabama Arrests Down But Prison Crowding Remains

A group studying overcrowding in Alabama's prisons has found that arrests are down but the state's prisons remain at nearly double their designed capacity.

A group studying overcrowding in Alabama's prisons has found that arrests are declining and sentences are getting shorter. But Alabama's prisons remain at nearly double their designed capacity.

The Council of State Governments Justice Center presented the statistics to the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force.

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Alabama Prison Review
4:05 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Study Begins On Alabama Prison Overhaul

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system.
Credit The Governor's Office

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system.

Bentley said Tuesday the state's prisons are filled to nearly twice their collective capacity. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a partnership between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Department of Justice, will examine the system and suggest reforms.

The review comes after a series of stark criticisms. The Department of Justice has called conditions unconstitutional at Alabama's only prison for women.

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Governor's Race-Prisons
4:11 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Gov. Bentley Opponent Calls For Releasing Inmates

Stacy George says if elected Governor, he would create a second parole board like Gov. Bob Riley did to expedite the parole of non-violent inmates.
Credit Facebook

A prison guard running against Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama's prison system is at risk of a federal takeover because of severe overcrowding.

At a news conference Thursday in Montgomery, Stacy George said that if elected, he would create a second parole board like Gov. Bob Riley did to expedite the parole of non-violent inmates. George said he will ask the Legislature to repeal the habitual offender law that provides for longer sentences for repeat offenders and he will make the repeal retroactive. He says that could reduce the prison population by more than one-fourth.

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Politics & Government
6:23 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Ala. Officials Consider Jail Overcrowding Proposal

Officials are considering a proposal to move some female inmates into the Jefferson County jail in Bessemer. It's been closed since 2009 because of budget constraints.
Joe Songer-The Birmingham News

In response to concerns about jail overcrowding, state officials are considering a proposal to move some female inmates into a shuttered facility in Jefferson County.

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