Hear Highlights from “Issues & Ales: Alabama’s Prison System”
Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM hosted an “Issues & Ales” event concentrating on Alabama’s Prison System on Tuesday, June 17 at WorkPlay. Listen for highlights from the event on WBHM at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 25.
If you missed the event and the broadcast, listen here:
Issues within the Alabama prison system impact the culture and economy of Alabama, affecting thousands of lives across the state every day. What are the causes for concern? Who is responsible? Why does it matter to you?
WBHM explored this topic at “Issues & Ales: Alabama’s Prison System,” hosted by Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM in collaboration with AL.com/The Alabama Media Group and The Center for Investigative Reporting on Tuesday, June 17, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at WorkPlay, 500 23rd St. South.
This panel discussion focused on what Alabama residents want from the prison and criminal justice systems and how policy makers and communities can punish wrongdoing, rehabilitate offenders and, by extension, reduce crime in Alabama.
- Dr. Alison Chapman, UAB professor and coordinator of UAB’s prison lecture series
- Dr. Hank Dasinger, President J. F. Ingram State Technical College
- Cynthia Dillard, Executive Director, The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
- Kira Fonteneau, Jefferson County Public Defender
- Shay Golden, former inmate and attorney
- Juanida Pitts, former inmate now working to rehabilitate offenders
- Jeh Jeh Pruitt, Co-founder of the Dannon Project
- Jeremy Sherer, (Contractor) Community Outreach Specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Alabama
- Kelsey Stein, Alabama Media Group/AL.com courts and crime reporter
- Kim Thomas, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner
- Alabama State Sen. Cam Ward
Doors opened at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m. The event was free, and food and beverages was be available for purchase from Off the Hook food truck and WorkPlay.
Issues & Ales is part of the outreach effort of Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM, a listener-supported service of UAB and the station where you can listen and be heard.
Governor Robert Bentley is praising a settlement between the state and the U.S. Justice Department over conditions at Alabama’s only prison for women. Bentley says the agreement announced Thursday is a “positive step forward” for the corrections agency.
Alabama’s prison reform bill was approved today by a 31-2 vote in the Alabama Senate. The bill contains major changes to the state’s sentencing and probation rules with the goal of reducing prison over-crowding. Alabama’s prisons are currently at almost 200 percent capacity. The bill was crafted by the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force with the help of The Council of State Governments, a nonprofit that works with policymakers across the country. WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley spoke with Andy Barbee, research manager with The Council of State Governments about some of the most important policy changes in the Alabama Justice Reinvestment Act and how Alabama’s challenges rank nationally.
The 2015 Alabama legislative session kicks off on Tuesday. From prisons to the state’s budget deficit to education, this year’s session will be full of important — and even controversial — issues. Here to give us a preview of what to expect is Don Dailey, host of Alabama Public Television’s Capital Journal.
Alabama’s overcrowded prison system has been under close scrutiny since the Justice Department started investigating it last year. If big changes aren’t made during the upcoming legislative session, the state risks a federal takeover. Alabama’s Prison Reform Task Force is working to draft legislation to improve the prison system. State Senator Cam Ward of Alabaster is the task force’s chairman. Ward sat down with WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley to talk about the proposed legislation, and who has been involved in the process.
Few people normally go to Donaldson Correctional Facility, a state prison in far western Jefferson County. But twice a month UAB faculty travel to this maximum security prison to lecture to inmates. It’s been happening for almost three decades. Reporter Ashley Cleek sits in on a class.