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Issues and Ales: Alabama’s Prison System

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Issues within the Alabama prison system impact the culture and economy of Alabama, affecting thousands of lives across the state every day. What are the causes for concern? Who is responsible? Why does it matter to you?

WBHM explored this topic at “Issues & Ales: Alabama’s Prison System,” hosted by Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM in collaboration with AL.com/The Alabama Media Group and The Center for Investigative Reporting on Tuesday, June 17, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at WorkPlay, 500 23rd St. South.

This panel discussion focused on what Alabama residents want from the prison and criminal justice systems and how policy makers and communities can punish wrongdoing, rehabilitate offenders and, by extension, reduce crime in Alabama.

Panelists included:

  • Dr. Alison Chapman, UAB professor and coordinator of UAB’s prison lecture series
  • Dr. Hank Dasinger, President J. F. Ingram State Technical College
  • Cynthia Dillard, Executive Director, The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
  • Kira Fonteneau, Jefferson County Public Defender
  • Shay Golden, former inmate and attorney
  • Juanida Pitts, former inmate now working to rehabilitate offenders
  • Jeh Jeh Pruitt, Co-founder of the Dannon Project
  • Jeremy Sherer, (Contractor) Community Outreach Specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Alabama
  • Kelsey Stein, Alabama Media Group/AL.com courts and crime reporter
  • Kim Thomas, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner
  • Alabama State Sen. Cam Ward

Doors opened at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m. The event was free, and food and beverages was be available for purchase from Off the Hook food truck and WorkPlay. Issues & Ales is part of the outreach effort of Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM, a listener-supported service of UAB and the station where you can listen and be heard.

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