On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a substitute bill for HB228 that will allow incarcerated individuals to attend their parole hearings virtually.
Under existing law, incarcerated individuals cannot attend their parole hearings. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, said that the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles and the Department of Corrections have the infrastructure in place to allow virtual attendance of parole hearings because of COVID-19.
Due to COVID-19, many states adopted policies that allow virtual attendance of parole hearings. If this legislation is signed into law, Alabama would become the latest state to begin to allow this process.
Redemption Earned, a non-profit dedicated to helping incarcerated individuals worthy of parole, said that support for the bill is support for a smart, effective parole system that ensures human dignity.
Redemption Earned stated that the bill would, “assist the decisions made at parole hearings by allowing the very life it affects to have a seat at the table.”
The bill was met with no opposition and moved to the House floor for potential passage.