Tag: Alabama prisons

Bill to Allow Former Convicts Access to More Occupations Advances

MONTGOMERY — Alabama lawmakers are close to removing many restrictions in state law about where convicted felons can work.

“Everyone says we want people who get out of prison to be employed, taxpaying citizens,” Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said Thursday. “But then the government puts barriers in the way of people getting jobs.”

There are more than 700 places in Alabama law that restrict the occupations and business licenses of the felons. For example, they can’t be interior designers or get some cosmetology licenses, Ward said.
Read more.

Budgets, Education Reform Among Bills Pending in Final Stretch of Legislative Session

Alabama lawmakers this year have approved a statewide gas tax increase, told sheriffs they can’t keep money meant for feeding jail inmates and said they want a shot at the U.S. Supreme Court with the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban.

The Legislature has two to three weeks remaining in its 2019 session, and a lot of legislating is left to do. Still on the table are proposals for a lottery, the state’s budgets, education bills and medical marijuana, to name just the tip of the iceberg.

For a look at some of the major bills that are pending and what might get punted to a special session later this year, Read more.

Lawmakers Tackle Alabama’s Persistent Prison Problems

Alabama’s prisons are overcrowded, understaffed, and plagued by violence. A federal judge ruled mental health care for inmates is “horrendously inadequate.” There have been 15 suicides in as many months – including one earlier this month. Two inmates were stabbed and killed recently as well. While overcrowding has eased slightly, state lawmakers know there’s more work to do. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with state Sen. Cam Ward, a leading voice on prison issues, to get a sense of where lawmakers stand during this legislative session.