Anya Slepyan | 5/19/2021
The construction of the new prisons is part of a larger plan to improve the Alabama correctional system, which is facing a lawsuit from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
A 2019 DOJ report concludes that the Alabama Department of Corrections routinely violates incarcerated Alabamians’ 8th Amendment rights “by failing to protect them from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and prisoner-on-prisoner sex abuse, and by failing to provide safe conditions.” The report continues, “the violations are exacerbated by serious deficiencies in staffing and supervision and overcrowding.” READ MORE
C.J. Ciaramella | 5/18/2021
The Alabama legislature passed a compromise bill on Monday to curtail asset forfeiture. Although it was significantly scaled back to appease law enforcement, civil liberties advocates still say that it is a step in the right direction.
The Alabama House passed Senate Bill 210, sending it to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk. The bill would limit law enforcement seizures of cash to more than $250 and vehicles worth more than $5,000, among other provisions. READ MORE
Melissa Brown | 5/10/2021
A Montgomery legal nonprofit will receive a second year of grant funding from the NFL for their work addressing criminal justice reform in Alabama.
Alabama Appleseed is one of nine organizations to receive a portion of $2.5 million in grant funds through the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative. A committee of players and team owners voted to renew Appleseed’s grant, according to an NFL release. READ MORE
Eddie Burkhalter | 5/6/2021
A 23-year-old man who was set to be released from prison died the day before his birthday, according to court records and the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Ian Rettig was stabbed to death on Tuesday at Fountain Correctional Facility, a man incarcerated with Rettig told APR on Wednesday. The Escambia County Coroner’s Office confirmed Rettig’s death to APR on Thursday and said the cause of death was pending a full autopsy. READ MORE
Eddie Burkhalter | 4/20/2021
CoreCivic, the private prison company that has struggled to secure financing to build two of Alabama new prisons, will pay $56 million to settle a lawsuit levied by shareholders.
“This deal has disintegrated less than three weeks after it was made public, which speaks volumes about the future challenges of CoreCivic to secure funding for Alabama’s mega prisons,” said Carla Crowder, executive director of Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, in a message to APR on Monday. “Where will the financing possibly come from and how much more will this cost?” READ MORE