From Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), following a newly amended law passed by the Alabama Legislature, planned to release 369 inmates on Tuesday, according to Carol Robinson. Among those on the list were 12 people convicted of murder in Jefferson County alone.
The plan hit a snag on Tuesday after Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit claiming that the victims of the inmates had not been notified as required by law. An agreement reached with ADOC reduced Tuesday’s release to 80 people, according to Ivana Hrynkiw. The remaining 289 prisoners will be released following victim notification.
A law passed in 2015 called for prisoners to receive early supervised release (ankle monitors) ranging from three to 12 months depending on the charge and length of sentence. The law applied only to prisoners convicted after 2015. But in 2021 State Representative Jim Hill of Moody offered an amendment which included all prisoners regardless of when they were convicted, setting the stage for the planned mass release.
According to documents obtained by al.com, the released prisoners who did not have transportation would be taken to bus stations around the state.
The mass release comes as ADOC faces scathing reports from federal officials due to the deplorable conditions in Alabama’s overcrowded, outdated prisons. In a 2021 special session, the state legislature voted to spend $400 million of Covid relief money to build two new prisons. The current status of those prisons is unclear.