ACLU of Alabama Demands Transparency from Bureau of Pardons and Paroles
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Today, the ACLU of Alabama sent a second public records request to the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles (ABPP) asking for any policy that is guiding the bureau to schedule far fewer people for parole hearings. A previous open records request to ABPP was sent back with references to the Alabama Code and ABPP’s Administrative Code, which Campaign for Smart Justice investigative reporter Beth Shelburne analyzed before sending a second public records request.
These requests come in response to the drastic decline in parole rates, noted in a new ACLU report issued in early January. In 2018, the agency averaged 600 hearings per month, while approximately 150 hearings were scheduled for January 2020. In November and December 2019, the board granted parole to only 17 people, denying release to 92 percent of eligible people.
Beth Shelburne, Investigative Reporter, Campaign for Smart Justice:
“We’ve asked to see the specific policy or procedure that guides the scheduling of parole hearings. We’ve also asked to interview any supervisor within the agency who can walk us through the process, but I was told today that my interview request would not be granted.
We’ve submitted a new request, renewing our commitment to hold this state agency accountable. The Governor and the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles must follow through on transparency and answer our questions about this important policy.”
Read the full letter here: https://www.aclualabama.org/sites/default/files/aclu-bpp_request2.pdf
Read ACLU of Alabama report on parole rates here: https://www.aclualabama.org/en/press-releases/aclu-report-shows-dire-effects-alabama-prisons-due-stalled-paroles
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