What’s In Alabama’s Prison Reform Bill?

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Alabama’s prison reform bill was approved today by a 31-2 vote in the Alabama Senate. The bill contains major changes to the state’s sentencing and probation rules with the goal of reducing prison over-crowding. Alabama’s prisons are currently at almost 200 percent capacity.

The bill was crafted by the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force with the help of The Council of State Governments, a nonprofit that works with policymakers across the country. They’ve helped reform the criminal justice system in 21 states. CSG also has a team that assists states in implementing any policies that actually pass into law. The Alabama House of Representatives takes up the bill next.

WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley spoke with Andy Barbee, research manager with The Council of State Governments about some of the most important policy changes in the bill, including the creation of new Class D felony level and adding more parole officers. Barbee also discusses how Alabama’s challenges rank nationally.

 

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