Category: Alabama Prisons
Alabama paused executions for three months after the state failed to execute two men and took more than three hours to kill another man. Now, after an internal review and a rule change, prison officials will resume the procedure. Read more.
Survey numbers from 2021 show that roughly five percent of people in Alabama’s prisons are housed in isolation for at least 22 hours a day for 15 days or more. Read more.
It took three hours for the state of Alabama to execute Joe Nathan James Jr. last month. The state autopsy won’t be available for months. One reporter conducted an independent autopsy. Read more.
An expert explains how issues from staffing to healthcare to climate change have contributed to a recent rise in deaths in prisons across the Gulf South. In Alabama, at least 22 people have died while incarcerated at the Donaldson Correctional Facility alone. Read more.
The U.S. Treasury said prison construction is a “generally ineligible” use of American Rescue Plan funds, but has not intervened in Alabama’s plans. Read more.
WBHM’s Mary Scott Hodgin Talks With Brittany Brown of the Gulf States Newsroom About Issues Plaguing Alabama and Mississippi Prisons.
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Commission on Reentry heard presentations Tuesday about the need for expanding housing assistance for those leaving prison as a way to reduce recidivism. The state currently provides no housing assistance for the majority of people who are leaving prison at the end of their sentences. Read more.
Construction will start early next year on the two 4,000-bed men’s prisons the Alabama Legislature approved after a rapid-fire, five-day special session last week.
The package of bills Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law late Friday includes the borrowing of up to $785 million for the two prisons and the use of $400 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act for the mega-prisons in central and south Alabama. A second phase of construction allows for a new women’s prison and renovations to three existing men’s prisons.
Prison proposals have floated around the State House for years, dying when they couldn’t overcome turf wars and pricetags.
So, what changed the attitudes of legislators this year?
“There was a recognition of need that I don’t think we’ve seen before,” Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, told Alabama Daily News. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey and lawmakers celebrated Friday afternoon as the governor signed bills to spend $1.3 billion on two new 4,000-bed men’s prisons. A smaller women’s prison and renovations to some existing prisons will come later.
Ivey said that the building of the new prisons is the legally, fiscally and morally right thing as the state addresses its prisons crisis.
“Let me be clear, while more reform of the system can and does need to be addressed in the future – and I am committed to that as are many legislators – today’s bill signing on the construction part of this issue is a major step forward,” Ivey said. Read more.
Also in the Legislature:
Legislature, Ivey Approve Parole Change Bill
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Legislature gave final passage to a bill that requires those who are released early from prison to undergo mandatory electronic monitoring.
The week-long special session began with the possibility of two criminal justice bills passing but ended with just one making it to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk. She signed it Friday afternoon.