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Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles officer tests positive for COVID-19

Close up of nurses hands holding buccal cotton swab and test tube ready to collect DNA from the cells.

An officer with the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the bureau. 

The officer is self-quarantining at his home, the bureau said in a statement Monday. 

“The men and women who are out in the field doing this vital work to protect the people of Alabama while helping parolees and probationers transition to productive lives are wonderful, brave people,” Bureau Director Charlie Graddick said in a statement. “We pray for our officer who has contracted this illness and we wish him Godspeed. We thank him and all our officers who have chosen to serve the interests of public safety in Alabama.” 

In a message to APR, bureau spokesman Terry Abbott said that a few weeks ago Graddick directed officers to have parolees and probationers to report in by phone “and to only do home visits to the most intensively supervised client, and then only at a safe distance.”

I’m told this officer has not had any contact with parolees and probationers, except by phone, over the last two weeks,” Abbott said in the message. 

All pardons and parole hearings were canceled March 30 amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19. 

Graddick in a statement on April 9 said the bureau was working to restart hearings

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“We are in continuing discussions with the Governor’s Office in an effort to restart pardon and parole hearings as safely and efficiently as possible during this very difficult time for the people of Alabama,” Graddick in a statement. “The Bureau hopes to announce a plan and timetable soon.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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