ACLU of Alabama Comment on Governor Order to Resume Parole Hearings
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Today, Governor Ivey issued a supplemental emergency proclamation to allow for the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles to resume parole hearings. This order comes less than one week after the ACLU of Alabama’s Campaign for Smart Justice released new data showing a severe backlog of close to 4,000 people, or 15 percent of the overall population currently incarcerated in Alabama prisons, were eligible for a parole hearing before April 1, 2020.
Executive Director Randall Marshall:
“We are glad to see the Governor and parole bureau move to resume parole hearings. However, the delay between now and May 18 leaves thousands of prisoners, corrections officers, and surrounding communities vulnerable to exposure and spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, when hearings do resume, it is vitally important that the parole board hold more hearings and grant more paroles than they have been granting: their previous fiscal year average of 22 grants per month is unconscionable during this current public health crisis.”
Read the full report at https://alabamasmartjustice.org/report/parole-hearing-backlog.
Read stories from people in Alabama prisons who have been denied parole at https://alabamasmartjustice.org/stories/2020/4/10/denied-paroles.
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
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The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to challenge racism in the criminal legal system.