WAAY 31 I-Team: Only one bill in current legislative session tackles Alabama parole board issues

Senator Cam Ward introduced Senate Bill 42.

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 7:00 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2019 7:00 PM

Alabama's legislative session is underway, and the WAAY 31 I-Team could only find one bill trying to fix the parole system the state admits is broken.

Senator Cam Ward introduced Senate Bill 42. It calls for people convicted of Class A felonies, like murder, rape and child molestation, to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

Currently, two of the biggest issues with the parole board are victim notification and what the board considers when granting parole.

The problem is there is no bill strengthening either of those issues or actual changes to limit the parole board's power. Also, lawmakers haven't done anything to change a 2015 law that many people complain focuses on prison overcrowding and lets too many criminals back on the street.

Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall have not said much about the lack of proposed legislation. Last October, they both vowed to make changes after a WAAY 31 investigation uncovered the parole board was letting violent criminals out of prison and failing to keep track of them.

The attorney general's office said on Tuesday, Marshall will offer a legislative proposal regarding the board after the legislature's spring break, but didn't go into more detail on what this plan is.

Senate Bill 42 is currently in the judiciary committee.

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