Tag: Alabama prisons

As Prison Project Moves Forward, Lawmakers Still Have Questions

Some Alabama lawmakers say they still have questions about Gov. Kay Ivey’s possible selection of private companies to build three state prisons, a process that so far has largely excluded the Legislature.

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, told Alabama Daily News he plans to send Ivey’s office a letter this week asking if contracting out prison services is an option she’s considering in bids recently submitted to the Alabama Department of Corrections.

“I’m just going to ask point blank,” Ward said. “I am going to be 100% opposed to privately run prisons. That’s a big policy shift that the Legislature should be involved in.”
Read more.

ADOC: 3 COVID-19 Cases Reported in Prisons, 1 Inmate Died After Diagnosis

The Alabama Department of Corrections on Friday reported the first three confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its prisons.
One of the diagnosed inmates, a 66-year-old with a terminal illness, died Thursday, but an official cause of death has not yet been determined, the ADOC said in a statement on its website. Read more.

Lawyers: Set Parole Hearings, Prevent Virus Spread in Alabama’s Crowded Prisons

A group of law school faculty members and former prosecutors has written Gov. Kay Ivey urging her to have the state Board of Pardons and Paroles hold expedited hearings to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to Alabama’s prison population.

“The Board should prioritize the release, if necessary into 14-day quarantine, of prisoners age 50 and over and those with compromised immune systems,” the letter stated. “Alabama should recognize the parole system as one avenue through which to ameliorate the public-health threat posed by our overcrowded prisons.” Read more.

Prisons Close Doors to Many Incoming Inmates Because of COVID-19

UPDATED — Stepping up its response to one of its employees’ testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, the Alabama Department of Corrections said Friday its prisons will not take in any “new inmates from county jails for the next 30 days.” Others subject to the moratorium include those who have violated terms of their parole or probation and those ordered back to prison by a court.

In a news release, the department said it would “continue to receive inmates with severe medical or mental health conditions, subject to the usual review process by the Department’s Office of Health Services.” It said it would screen those inmates to ensure they have no symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Read more.

Prison Reform Package Backed by Ivey Promises Better Rehabilitation and Oversight

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey has endorsed a package of criminal justice reform bills as a way to respond to systemic problems within Alabama’s prisons system.

There are five bills and one joint resolution, as well as a recommendation to increase funding for prison education programs by $4.2 million and improve access to mental health care. Read more.

Earlier reporting on this topic: Legislature to Get Bills Addressing Needs of Alabama’s Troubled Prisons