Judge Charles Graddick was brought in to revamp the agency.
The award came in the category of "Community Service," which was described during the show as an award that "is given to a station project that impacts an issue of public importance."
The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles denied parole Tuesday to 11 violent offenders, including seven convicted of robbery and two convicted of rape.
Graddick postponed all hearings, calling the office a “hot mess” and saying new laws were not being followed.
The WAAY 31 I-Team received the Don Markwell Sentinell Award.
This change is happening after a law was passed giving the governor more power over the parole board.
A two-term Alabama attorney general, Judge Graddick comes to the post with an extensive background in law and public service.
The new law won't take effect until September 1st.
This bill creates a Director of Pardons and Paroles, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Alabama Senate, and provides strict rules and guidelines to ensure violent offenders do not receive early, wrongful paroles.
It now heads to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature.
The bill passed the House earlier this month.
The families allege that the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles wrongfully paroled and failed to supervise Spencer, resulting in the deaths of Marie Martin, Colton Lee and Martha Reliford.
Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers agree Alabama's prisons are in bad shape.
It's up to the Senate to put the parole bill on the calendar and take it to a vote.
Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL), Alabama’s largest victims’ advocacy coalition, on Tuesday expressed the organization’s full support and the urgent need for legislation reforming the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The legislation has already passed the Alabama House of Representatives.
He says the bills “are not in the best interest of the agency and State.”
Monday was an emotional day for the families of Colton Lee, Marie Martin and Martha Reliford as they laid eyes on Jimmy Spencer for the first time in court.
Judge Tim Riley issued an order Tuesday moving a May 6 hearing up to 10 a.m. April 29 in the Marshall County Courthouse.
The bill to fix the parole board was introduced in the judiciary committee Wednesday morning.
The Victims of Crime and Leniency group (VOCAL) presented Breken Terry and WAAY 31 with the "Voices for Victims Media Award."
Spencer was serving a life sentence before he was let out on parole and broke conditions of this parole. He is now charged with killing three people, including a child, in Guntersville.
The psychiatric evaluation hearing has already been continued once.
A WAAY 31 I-Team investigation uncovered flaws in the Alabama parole system and showed how violent inmates were being paroled early. Now, there’s a proposed bill to let some convicted killers out sooner.
The board says it will launch a new website on March 31, 2019, to better notify victims about parole hearings.
Victims' families told WAAY 31 they trust Bobby Longshore to do the job right.
Spencer was serving a life sentence before he was let out on parole and broke conditions of this parole.
All of this stems from a WAAY31 investigation into the parole board’s policies and procedures.
Ivey and Marshall said in the letter they are not happy about the parole board seeking an outside consultant when it comes to organizational structure, employee morale, and executive leadership.
The governor put a stop to early paroles in October 2018 and advised the board to fix its issues.
Ivey and Marshall released their response Thursday afternoon.
Spencer is accused of murdering three people in Guntersville after being let out on parole.
The parole board said it plans to implement these changes in 30 days.
The Board says it will review its plan prior to parole hearings and plans on following actions in the next 30 days to ensure adequate preparation for hearings.
The corrective action plan is hitting its deadline on Wednesday.
Two people convicted for crimes in Lauderdale County were denied parole as well as a woman convicted of killing a Shoals prosecutor's grandmother.
Alabama's Pardons and Paroles Board opened its doors Monday after cancelling all parole hearings the previous week.
The Alabama Parole Board has canceled all parole hearings for the rest of the week because of Governor Ivey's executive order.
Governor Ivey held a press conference Monday morning after she and Attorney General Steve Marshall met with the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Birmingham attorney, Tommy James, met with Governor Ivey's legal team and Attorney General Steve Marshall Friday morning to represent the families of Jimmy Spencer's murder victims.
A 600-page document shows the many disciplinary reports that were filed against Jimmy Spencer during his time in prison.
WAAY 31 has worked through hundreds of pages of documents that show Jimmy Spencer had little rehabilitation while in prison.
State documents show Jimmy Spencer threw feces, bit a corrections officer and stabbed another inmate.
WAAY 31 has 600 pages of Jimmy Spencer's disciplinary actions taken against him over the 30 years he was in prison.
Multiple families have reached out to WAAY 31 saying they lack confidence in the parole board.
Brian Robinson has worked as a parole officer since 2016.
The parole board said they are done reviewing Spencer's case but won't say if any changes will come about or how he slipped through the cracks.
Jimmy Spencer's victim from Franklin County shot Spencer in the late 80's as he was breaking into his house.
The analytical tool the parole board uses is coming under fire from multiple people and state agencies.
Jimmy Spencer will appear in a Marshall County courtroom for an arraignment hearing Tuesday morning.
The WAAY 31 I-Team keeps digging into parole documents that spell out how a criminal serving a life sentence was let out on parole, continually broke conditions of his parole and is now charged with killing three people, including a child, in Guntersville.
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