Currently, at least 80 Alabama inmates are out of prison and under supervision thanks to the new Compulsory Supervision Act. However, many in the state are concerned that some of these inmates will commit more crimes.
The latest data from the Alabama Department of Corrections shows a recidivism rate of nearly 30% in Alabama in 2021, meaning nearly one in three inmates committed another crime after being released from prison.
As a result, many fear that some of the inmates who have now been released early will re-offend.
“Some of the victims I speak to are like, ‘Oh, I hope he doesn’t come out and do this to someone else, it’s not destroying another family like we were destroyed,'” Grantham said. Executive Director of Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL).
It’s a pain those affected don’t want to inflict on others, which is why they worry about the Oversight Act.
The law provides that prisoners can be released under supervision a few months before the end of their sentence. However, some are concerned about what could be causing this.
“We are releasing individuals who are obviously at much greater risk than we have ever seen in the past – a murderer or a rapist, someone who has committed a robbery. These are individuals who have shown that not only can they break the law, but they are willing to harm others,” said Steve Marshall, Alabama Attorney General.
Victim advocacy says it’s always possible for it to happen again, whether the sentenced person is wearing an ankle bracelet or not.
“If anyone wants to commit a crime, they will do it,” said Kim Crawford, director of the Homicide Survivors Program at the Family Services Center.
“Not all inmates come out so rehabilitated. Not all inmates come out wanting to do better and all,” Grantham added.
However, they hope that the inmates’ time has changed them.
“I hope and pray that the majority of you are ready for a new life (and) building the future for you and your families,” Grantham said.
Inmates believed to be at higher risk would need to go through medication or mental health treatment programs to ensure they get the help they need.
If an inmate fails a drug test, cuts their ankle monitor, or fails to report, they will be sent back to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence. If they commit a crime while away, they face more jail time depending on the crime.