PRISON

ADOC Studies Aging Prisons

The Alabama Department of Corrections is studying the state’s aging prisons, some of which could one day be replaced with a few “mega-prisons” housing up to 4,000 inmates each. The agency has a nearly $500,000 contract with an engineering and architecture firm to study Alabama’s aging prisons. Results could be used to make the case for new, larger facilities, a…

GOP Governors Want FCC to Allow States to Handle Prison Cellphone Issue

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is among 10 Republican governors urging the Federal Communications Commission to give states more autonomy in combating cellphone use by inmates who have them illegally in prison. Haley on Monday wrote to FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler encouraging him to give states “flexibility and authority” to deal with the issue, universally seen as a security threat….

Inmate Found Dead at St. Clair Facility Identified

The Alabama Department of Corrections has identified an inmate who was found dead days ago at the St. Clair Correctional Facility.Inmate found dead at St. Clair facility identified Department spokesman Bob Horton said in an emailed statement Tuesday that the inmate has been identified as 54-year-old Emory Cook. Horton says Cook’s cellmate noticed that he was unresponsive on Friday morning…

More Prisoners Across Alabama Join Prison Strike

Inmates at three Alabama prisons have issued unified demands after initiating a widespread work stoppage on May 1. They are protesting exploitative labor policies and horrific prison conditions caused, in part, by overcrowding; Alabama’s prisons are operating at close to 200 percent over capacity. Prison staff have attempted to suppress the civil disobedience by significantly reducing prisoners’ meal portions, a…

No Long Hair in Alabama Prisons

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from Native American inmates who want to wear their hair long in Alabama prisons. The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the state’s prison system could keep in place its policy requiring male inmates to cut hair short. Inmates argued that keeping their hair long is part of…

Law Enforcement Concerned About Class D Felonies

A new class of felony has local enforcement worried the state will be releasing prisoners too soon. The Prison Reform Act signed by Governor Bentley in May of 2015 was designed to help prisons deal with over-crowding. Part of the act lowers the sentencing of Class C felonies to a new type of crime known as Class D felonies, allowing non-violent offenders…

Senate Committee Passes Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act

Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday issued a statement on the passage of the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act by the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee. Governor Bentley released a statement following the committee’s passing of the the bill. “For decades, Alabama’s prisons have become increasingly overcrowded, dangerous to both inmates and our corrections officers and incredibly costly to taxpayers. I commend…

Gov. Bentley’s Prison Construction Bill in Committee

Gov. Robert Bentley wants to borrow $800 million to build four large prisons to replace Alabama’s aging and overcrowded prisons. Bentley gave details Tuesday February 23, about the construction project he first announced in his State of the State address. The proposed legislation asks lawmakers to approve an $800 million bond issue and change bid law so design and construction…

Alabama Prison Construction Bill Faces First Test

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s prison construction proposal is facing its first legislative test. Bentley is asking lawmakers to approve an $800 million bond issue to build four new prisons and close most existing facilities. Some members of the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee questioned aspects of the project during a public hearing Wednesday. Some lawmakers say they have concerns about…

Ex-Rap Mogul Suge Knight’s Jail Privileges Cut

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A judge has restricted rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight’s access to phone calls and visitors at the request of sheriff’s investigators. Court records show Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan on Friday cut Knight’s access to phone calls and non-attorney visitors. The order was issued at the request of a sheriff’s detective investigating Knight’s…