Legislators give updates on Alabama prison reform measures

The Justice Department has warned that it may sue the state if Alabama doesn't fix problems.

Posted: May 16, 2019 8:19 AM
Updated: May 17, 2019 12:16 AM

Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, Sen. Cam Ward, Rep. Jim Hill, Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, and Rep. Chris England are holding a press conference Thursday to give an update on prison reform measures in the Alabama Legislature.

The Justice Department says Alabama's prison system has been violating the Constitution by failing to protect inmates from violence and sexual abuse.

The federal government's findings were disclosed in a scathing letter in April. The letter described the problems as "severe" and "systemic."

The Justice Department also warned that it may sue the state if Alabama doesn't fix the problems.

At Thursday's press conference, legislators said this is an Alabama problem, not a partisan issue, and they will work on together to fix it.

"Let's do this once and for all and solve this once and for all," said Ward.

McCutcheon said key issues are working on facilities, helping inmates and addressing the state pardons and paroles system.

Legislators plan to introduce a bill to tackle sentencing reforms, budgeting for hiring more corrections officers, inmate suicide rates, sexual abuse in the prisons, and the conditions of the prisons.

Marsh said it is unlikely solutions will be finalized in the current legislative session. He and the other said they expect Gov. Kay Ivey to call a special session so solutions can be implemented.

Stay with WAAY 31 on air and check back on WAAYTV.com for updates

Read more here and here

Following the update from Legislative Leadership, Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement:

“I very much appreciate the long hours and hard work the Alabama Legislature has put into helping address the complex, multi-faceted issues facing our prison system. The fact that this is being done in a bipartisan way with leaders on both sides of the political aisle speaks to the fact that at the end of the day, we’re going to come up with the necessary remedies to help us provide ‘Alabama solutions to an Alabama problem,’ as I’ve said countless times before.

My administration pledges to continue to work closely with the Legislature to build consensus on any and all remedies necessary to solve these problems. And make no mistake, we need a solution that not only addresses today’s challenges but keeps us from having to deal with this issue again years from now. This problem has been kicked down the road for the last time.

I believe everyone — the Legislature, the Department of Justice, the courts and, most especially, the people of Alabama — realizes there is no single solution and there are no easy answers. I am encouraged to know that the Legislature will continue to work on solutions during the remainder of this session, we will remain in constant communication with one another during the coming weeks and months to keep this issue on the front burner. I truly believe that together, we will finally take the necessary steps to move our corrections system toward a more stable, safer future.”

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Confirmed Cases: 134231

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19441349
Mobile13271291
Montgomery8778179
Madison775480
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Shelby584951
Lee582961
Baldwin516550
Marshall390944
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Morgan325428
Houston278123
Elmore263247
DeKalb239120
Walker228483
St. Clair227837
Talladega212728
Limestone206120
Cullman188519
Dallas177426
Franklin175529
Russell17442
Autauga173825
Lauderdale168233
Colbert163626
Blount159415
Escambia158425
Jackson154611
Chilton153531
Dale135444
Covington134427
Coffee13078
Pike11879
Chambers115142
Tallapoosa114685
Clarke107717
Marion95729
Butler91339
Barbour8577
Winston73712
Marengo70820
Lowndes65327
Pickens65114
Bibb64210
Randolph63713
Hale62828
Lawrence60922
Geneva5995
Bullock59814
Cherokee59115
Monroe5818
Clay5707
Washington55613
Perry5407
Conecuh53111
Crenshaw53132
Wilcox53111
Henry4865
Macon48020
Fayette4438
Sumter43419
Lamar3632
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3396
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 187690

Reported Deaths: 2312
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30460452
Davidson26252298
Hamilton928791
Knox918175
Rutherford915088
Williamson516536
Sumner475896
Wilson341844
Putnam320139
Montgomery302244
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29145
Bradley289317
Madison280061
Sevier257015
Blount247723
Maury230923
Washington223935
Robertson219035
Sullivan212133
Hamblen188525
Tipton178118
Trousdale16517
Gibson160922
Hardeman154826
Wayne14905
Bedford132017
Dyer131813
Dickson123515
Cumberland117518
Fayette117418
Coffee116613
Weakley115719
Anderson115312
Henderson115322
Carter114728
Obion11389
Loudon11356
Greene112943
McMinn110025
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Macon103520
Warren10267
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Lawrence101211
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Haywood95418
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Lake9142
Roane8724
Carroll85819
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McNairy84218
White8139
Cheatham80610
Rhea79812
Hawkins78316
Cocke7419
Marshall7415
Overton7135
Smith69810
Johnson6752
Henry6139
Chester60910
Lincoln6031
Giles58017
Hickman5585
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Sequatchie2293
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