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I-Team: Parole board releases changes to their action plan

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles released new documents ordered by Governor Kay Ivey.

Posted: Dec. 28, 2018 6:34 PM
Updated: Jan. 7, 2019 6:49 AM

On Friday, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles released new documents ordered by Governor Kay Ivey.

Governor Ivey gave them 30 days to make changes to their orginal corrective action plan which she said was not detailed enough. The response is 16 pages plus supporting documents.

In the document, the board said there should be no change in executive leadership because each has made positive contributions. The report goes on to outline those contributions.

Regarding the Victim Service Unit, the board said it will now require added training for staffers so they can deal with victims they encounter who become angry or start cursing. They also recommend more managers. 

The board states it will visit Georgia next year to learn about it's automated system in preparing for parole hearings.

When it comes to early parole, a deputy or assistant attorney general will now review all decisions and the board will establish a Stakeholder Advisory Council that will meet quarterly. 

A prisoner must now also serve at least five years before being eligible for parole, have no discipline problems in the last three years, get a positive report from a corrections officer and get a letter of support from a prosecutor, judge, Attorney General, law enforcement officer, or victim.

Prisoners will also now only be able to get a maximum of three years shaved off their sentence if they are paroled.

In October, the governor and attorney general hit the board with an executive order to halt early paroles and said it had 30 days to come up with a corrective action plan to fix its problems. The plan was released as scheduled. Marshall and Ivey went over the plan for two weeks and released a 10-page response saying the board's corrective action plan lacked any action. 

The changes thus far at the parole board largely came about after WAAY 31's I-Team began investigating after a dangerous man who was supposed to be locked up for life was paroled.

WAAY 31 proved Jimmy Spencer remained a violent man while in prison with some 50 disciplinary actions in his file, most of which were violent offenses, that should have been taken into account before he was paroled. After he was paroled, the state admits Spencer slipped through the cracks and had multiple run-ins with police. Spencer was even arrested on drug charges while on parole, but he wasn't sent back to prison.

Spencer is now accused of murdering three people in Guntersville this past July, six months after he was paroled in January 2018.

To view the board's list of amendments to the corrective action plan click here.

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