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5 Noteworthy Quotes From Alabama Lawmakers on Prison Costs

By    |   Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 08:27 PM

Soaring prison costs and a threat from the federal government to take over and deal with overcrowding and other poor conditions have pushed Alabama lawmakers to adopt sweeping prison reforms.

The changes divert lesser offenders to boot camps and community facilities, handle minor drug offenses without prison time, and increase the number of parole officers so they can keep a closer eye on parolees and try to keep them from returning to prison, according to The Washington Post.

Lawmakers in Alabama have a lot to say about prison costs and reforms:

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1. “We’ve got to be smarter in our sentencing. At the same time, we have to make sure people who need to be in prison are in prison.”
Alabama Rep. Mike Ball, (R-Madison), Montgomery Advertiser, Jan. 17, 2015, on the dilemma facing lawmakers. Ball is a retired Alabama State Trooper.

2. “For the first time in a long time, I think the public understands there’s a legitimate need to deal with prison overpopulation.”
Alabama Rep. Chris England, (D-Tuscaloosa), Montgomery Advertiser, Jan. 17, 2015, talking about the unusual bipartisan momentum built up to pass the prison reform legislation and try to stem skyrocketing prison costs.

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3. “Now, this is just the first step, y’all, this is not the end. I’m not going to tell you this is perfect, this is not perfect legislation because the legislature’s not a perfect process. I will tell you, though, I firmly believe it will make a real difference in how we handle corrections in Alabama.”
Alabama Sen. Cam Ward, (R-Alabaster), WFSA-12 News, May 11, 2015, head of the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force, which developed the bill passed by the Legislature. The bill continued the task force for another year and aimed to keep prison costs in line.

4. "If we don't do something about it (prison overcrowding and other conditions), a federal court will come in and take it over. What's going to hurt us is, it's going to kill our budget. It will bankrupt us if federal courts take over our prisons.”
Sen. Cam Ward, (R-Alabaster), MyFoxAl.com, June 11, 2015, speaking after a media tour of a women’s prison where overcrowding and other poor conditions are being investigated.

5. “We have made significant progress over the last year to improve our criminal justice system, and with the construction of four new and modern prisons, Alabama is poised to be a national leader in safe and effective incarceration of inmates. We cannot move our state forward without addressing the issues that have plagued the prison system for decades. We have a good plan to address the issues and with the partnership of the Alabama Legislature, we can solve the issues and make the Department of Corrections more efficient.”
Gov. Robert Bentley, WHNT News, Feb. 23, 2016, speaking at the introduction of the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act

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Soaring prison costs and a threat from the federal government to take over and deal with overcrowding and other poor conditions have pushed Alabama lawmakers to adopt sweeping prison reforms. So lawmakers in Alabama have a lot to say about prison costs and reforms.
alabama, prison, costs, lawmakers, quotes
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2016-27-03
Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 08:27 PM
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