Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey is calling out the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles (ABPP) for failing to monitor potentially violent inmates recently released from Alabama prisons.
Since a 2021 law requiring the early release of inmates incarcerated before 2015 went into effect earlier this week, the Alabama Department of Corrections has discharged nearly 100 prisoners, many of which were convicted of violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter and rape.
As a condition of the "supervised release," the ABPP is supposed to keep tabs on the convicts via ankle monitor. However, Casey said at least one inmate has already fallen off the bureau's radar.
According to the DA, when her office reached out to the ABPP for information about a convicted murderer released in Blount County, she was told he no longer had an ankle monitor and was considered "low risk." Casey vented her shock and frustration on a Facebook live stream Thursday night and caused quite a stir in state political circles.
"We had a murderer released on Tuesday… It was our understanding he would be on an ankle monitor, they would know where he was, if it went off, they would be able to locate him," Casey told 1819 News. "It really, really frustrates me. Don't claim you're doing early release to monitor when you're not monitoring."
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Though she's only heard of the one case so far where the ankle monitor of a released inmate was removed, Casey said she expects it's happened in many others.
"If they assessed him and considered him low-risk and took the monitor off, and he had a murder charge, I would think most of the people would have theirs off," she said.
The ABPP told Casey that the "high risk" designation is reserved primarily for sex offenders.
"It's just very frustrating to me because I've got victims that I feel accountable to," Casey added.
After contacting the Governor's Offices about the situation, the director of ABPP, Cam Ward, reached out to Casey and assured her they would fix the problem and get an ankle monitor back on the released inmate by 7 a.m. Friday morning.
"In the morning at 7:05, I will be texting Cam Ward saying, 'Can you please prove that he has his ankle monitor on?'" she said.
1819 News attempted to contact a spokesperson for the ABPP for comment but did not receive a response before publishing deadline.
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