State Initiatives: Alabama
The Montgomery Advertiser recently noted, “Unlike most of his predecessors, [Republican] Gov. Bob Riley has successfully pushed reforms designed to lower inmate populations and to decrease recidivism. He has sought to increase the state's work release program.”i
Despite efforts to demand a greater return on taxpayer public safety dollars, the state faces many corrections challenges. For example, in 2009, one prison was more than 300 percent over capacity.ii The state has one of the nation’s highest incarceration rates, with more than 30,000 inmates in state lockups.iii
According to a October 21, 2010 Auburn Plainsman story recapping a gubernatorial forum, Republican Governor-elect Robert Bentley “added that prison reform was needed to address the number of drug-addicted individuals currently incarcerated in state prisons.”iv
The Alabama Sentencing Commission is working to strengthen the state’s utilization of offender risk/needs assessment instruments. These are tools that research has demonstrated enhances the cost-effective use of correctional resources by matching the supervision strategy, sanction, or program with the type of offender for whom that approach has been proven to reduce recidivism.v
i “Tight Fit,” Montgomery Advertiser, 9 Aug. 2009.
iii National Institute of Corrections, Alabama Profile.iv "Sparks, Bentley showcase platforms for Alabama," Auburn Plainsman, 21 Oct. 2010.
v Marc A. Levin, "The Role of Risk Assessment in Enhancing Public Safety and Efficiency in Texas Corrections," Texas Public Policy Foundation, July 2010.
“Alabama’s criminal justice system offers opportunities for conservatives”
Katherine Robertson, Jay Neal and Jerry Madden: ”By adopting policies based on conservative principles—personal responsibility, fiscal discipline, and individual liberty—states including Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas have enacted policies proven to both enhance public safety and minimize the cost to taxpayers.” Click here to read the full op-ed.:: Read More
The Conservative Case Against More Prisons
Our policy experts Vikrant Reddy and Marc Levin wrote an excellent piece recently for The American Conservative magazine. It’s entitled, “The Conservative Case Against More Prisons” and appeared in the latest issue of the magazine. Here is an excerpt: There are other ways to hold offenders—particularly nonviolent ones—accountable. These alternatives when properly implemented can lead [...]:: Read More
Engulfed by Environmental Crimes
The Texas Public Policy Foundation recently released a report on overcriminalization which I co-authored with my Right On Crime colleague, Marc Levin. The report, titled Engulfed by Environmental Crimes: Overcriminalizaton on the Gulf Coast, has received some attention across the internet after…:: Read More
Prison Population Pressures Plague Two States
Rising prison populations in two states are stimulating legislative attention to criminal justice reform—and neither state, fortunately, is resorting to merely letting inmates out early. Instead, both states are turning to proven, evidence-based reforms that decrease unnecessary incarceration for non-violent…:: Read More
Slamming the Prison Doors Shut—For Good
The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) brings us news that sixteen states have recently shut down traditional juvenile detention centers, or drastically reduced the number of youths being incarcerated in those facilities. All the way from New Mexico to Rhode Island, there appears to be a trend…:: Read More
Alabama Chief Justice Issues Overcrowding Warning
Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb has a warning for the legislature of her state: fix the overcrowded Alabama prison system, or the judiciary will do it for you. Like many other states’ leaders, she read Brown v. Plata, and saw a similar problem in her own state.:: Read More
Robert Bentley’s Distinction Between Violent and Non-Violent Offenders
Conservative advocates of criminal justice reform sometimes have their “tough on crime” bona fides questioned, but Alabama Governor-Elect Robert Bentley demonstrates why such criticisms are unfounded…:: Read More
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