1st Alabama inmate released under medical furlough

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Department of Corrections has released its first inmate under a new medical furlough law.

Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said 56-year-old Omar Shariff Rahman died about 30 hours after he was released last month. He had served more than 26 years in prison and his cause of death was not released.

The new law allows medical furloughs for geriatric, incapacitated or terminally ill prisoners who meet certain requirements. The medical furlough law took effect Sept. 1 and is designed to help the department save money by releasing inmates who are terminally ill if their families are willing to take care of them.

More than 25,000 are in Alabama's prison system and officials estimate 125 might be eligible for medical furloughs.

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