Initial reports stated a so-called criminal justice reform law passed in a special session of the Alabama Legislature in 2021 would soon result in the mass release of 369 inmates incarcerated in the state's corrections system.
The number has since increased to more than 400.
However, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, up to 1,200 inmates could be released under this law by July.
During an appearance on Mobile radio's FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," the state's top law enforcement official called on Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature to act sooner rather than later to change the law and cited the number as the justification.
"I think it can happen immediately by the Governor calling a special session," he said. "Because, again, there are roughly another 1,000-1,200 inmates that are going to come out under this same cycle as a result of the 2021 law over the next several months. I think acting quickly would be prudent for everybody to call a special session. Let's have that joint committee of both the House and the Senate to come together and have a discussion about what does notification look like?"
"What does supervision and release look like?" Marshall continued. "Are there ways of doing reentry inside the wire – basically in prison itself, beginning the program that makes sense? And then can we potentially look at, rather than early release of individuals with supervision, we put that on the end of sentence to make sure the original sentence itself is effectuated. The judge's intentions, where they put somebody in prison, comes to reality, and then we evaluate what recidivism really looks like and what that means."
When asked to clarify the number, Marshall confirmed that he had been told an additional 200 inmates a month could go free under the law.
"What we're being told right now is that roughly there are an additional 200 inmates a month through July that are likewise by the 2021 [legislation], that roughly 1,000 to 1,200 — now, we'll see what that number ultimately shows us, but that's what we're being told tentatively right now are still to come out between now and July," he said.
Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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