House Judiciary Committee chairman State Rep. Jim Hill (R-Moody), the sponsor of a 2021 law initiating the mass release of inmates currently underway, is not prepared to criticize the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) just yet for the agency's apparent mishandling of the release process.

According to a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Steve Marshall, ADOC failed to complete the required victim notification, despite having 18 months to do so. That has delayed the release of most of the inmates eligible for release under the law, which was passed during a special session in 2021.

Hill told 1819 News he didn't have criticism for the Alabama Department of Corrections process on the mass inmate release underway because he was unaware.

However, the St. Clair County Republican lawmaker insisted the law improved public safety.

"The purpose of the legislation was realizing that people get out of prison, and if they end their sentence in prison, then we have absolutely no supervision over them for any period of time," Hill said. "So the purpose of the law in 2015 was to say, 'look, before we allow someone just to wander free, just to go off with no restraints whatsoever, we are going to add in a period of time where they have an element of supervision."

(See also: See the state lawmakers who voted for the 2021 law that initiated this week's mass inmate release)

When asked if there were any concerns from the legislature about the massive release of violent criminals once the retroactive portion took effect, Hill said, "It was not discussed, and there was no concerns raised at all."

"They were going to get out within a year," Hill continued. "Consequently, it's my belief that we are better served from a standpoint of public safety if, before we let them just go and not have any supervision at all, that we have a period of time where we monitor where they go, what they do, and supervise them after they are released, so I think that's important."

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