Alabama lawmakers and state prison chief to meet on future of the department

Alabama lawmakers and state prison chief to meet on future of the department

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama’s Department of Corrections is going through changes, and lawmakers want in.

On Monday Dec. 16, Commissioner Jefferson Dunn will be holding a briefing on “a strategic update on the Alabama Prison Program including the current status of the contracting process, as well as next steps for the Department and proposal evaluation committee.”

The state is currently weighing plans on the creation of three new prisons and the the revitalization of existing infrastructure.

The stated goal of the ADOC is to improve public safety and reduce recidivism (the return of prisoners within three years) currently at 25.6 percent.

In the aftermath of officer Bill Clardy’s death, Madison County lawmakers said they have their eyes on closing early release loopholes for the worst offenders.

Suspect in the shooting LaJeromeny Brown does not have an Alabama rap sheet, but Tennessee records show he’s plead guilty to assault, evading arrest, and DUI.

Rep. Andy Whitt said Clardy’s death “hurt” and will be working to implement changes when the session opens in Feb.

“Some people are just evil. We have evil among us in society. These people that want to do harm to our citizens, get out, locked up again. They probably need to be locked away,” he said.

However, Whitt said it’s a balancing act, making sure the resources are there for inmates seeking a brighter future.

“It will take a lot of individuals with ideas, new ideas, to get in the room and discuss our prison problem,” he said.

State representative and former Huntsville Police Chief Rex Reynolds said he’ll be at the ADOC and also wants to find a way to close the loopholes.

“May be some tough conversations, but I think myself and others that retired from law enforcement that currently serve in the state representatives, we’re ready to have that conversation," he said.

"Why this individual was out, the background, the processes, while a lot of that focus will be on Tennessee, we've got to make sure we get it right here in Alabama."

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