Monday, April 6, 2015

Alabama pursuing long awaited prison reform

The Alabama State Senate passed a prison reform bill aimed at addressing the state's prison reform crisis through new investments in parole and probation services and a targeting of recidivism.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, passed 31 to 2 after a lengthy debate. It goes to the House, where Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, has said it will be a priority for the chamber.
"No one ever runs for election putting on a bumper sticker or a yard sign, 'I fixed prisons,'" Ward said after the vote Thursday afternoon. "This is not the ultimate fix, but it is a huge step in the right direction. I can guarantee you a few years ago, no one would have expected Alabama to take step toward these type of reforms."
The state's prisons, which stood at 185 percent capacity in December, have been overcrowded for decades, and that overcrowding has been a major factor in physical and sexual violence reported in numerous corrections facilities.
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