A positive note in prison debate

December 5, 2017

By Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Matt Fridy

The news surrounding the Alabama corrections system seems to be one negative story after another with much of the focus on the need for reform and consolidation in the system as well as higher quality of service and better outcomes.  Much of this is true and is a result of inadequate funding, not because of poor leadership or management.  In fact, we would argue that ADOC has some of the best leadership under Commissioner Jeff Dunn and his team that we have had in some time.  They are tackling the bigger problems and looking for ways to solve them in the face of many challenges.

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Special Session on Alabama prisons expected

July 7, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Wednesday, June 27, 2017, US District Judge Myron H. Thompson declared the mental health care system in Alabama prisons to be “horrendously inadequate.” Judge Thompson said that the prisons are an unconstitutional failure that has resulted in a “skyrocketing suicide rate” among prisoners over the last two years. US District Judge Myron H. Thompson has ordered the state to reform the system which has been chronically underfunded and overcrowded.
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Judge declares Alabama prisons’ mental health care constitutionally inadequate

June 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, June 27, 2017, US Federal District Judge Myron H. Thompson declared the mental health care system in Alabama prisons to be “horrendously inadequate.” The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) is being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center and a number of prisoners who claim that their mental and health needs are being neglected by the prison system.

In a 302 page ruling, Judge Thompson said that the prisons are an unconstitutional failure that has resulted in a “skyrocketing suicide rate” among prisoners over the last two years. US District Judge Myron H. Thompson ordered the State to reform the system and directed them to work with the Southern Poverty Law Center to resolve the issues with the chronically underfunded and overcrowded prison system.
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Questions hang over massive prison bill

February 20, 2017

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

The push to build four new correctional facilities at the cost of $800 million will soon begin in earnest. Still, many questions are left unanswered by legislations known as the Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative (APTI). The plan at present says the estimated $1.5 billion bond issuance will be paid by savings in the ADOC budget over the next 30 years. It also assumes proper medical and mental health care will result by consolidating facilities, and that the new high-tech prisons will reduce prison staffing needs. Governor Robert Bentley and Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner Jeff Dunn are warning lawmakers of an imminent threat of Federal intervention if actions are not taken immediately.
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Prisons Want $18 Million Budget Increase

January 18, 2016

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, January 12, the joint House and Senate Committees on the long troubled State General Fund (SGF). The first state agency to testify was the Department of Corrections. Corrections is asking the legislature for an $18 million increase in their 2017 fiscal year budget.

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn said that the increase will allow the Department advance our vision to transform the state’s prison system.
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