Issues and Ales: Alabama’s Prison System
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 8 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.
On Thursday, WBHM gathered a panel of doctors, former football players and concussion experts at Workplay for the annual Issues and Ales. Andrew Yeager led the panel and opened up the end of each session for audience questions. You can listen to the discussion on the air on Wednesday, July 29 at 2 p.m.
Click here to register for Issues & Ales: Concussions and the Price of Playing Football. In Alabama, football is a way of life. But after recent revelations about the dangers of football-related head injuries, players and parents are reconsidering their involvement. How are health concerns changing who plays football? How does it change the
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.
Deaths from heroin overdose have increased dramatically in Alabama, doubling in Jefferson County alone last year. Heroin is cheaper than ever, and more and more people who are addicted to prescription painkillers are making the switch, tearing families and communities apart. Why is heroin usage on the rise and what can law enforcement, public health officials, families, parents, and teachers do to combat the growing epidemic? Public Radio WBHM 90.3 FM will explore this topic at “Issues & Ales: Heroin in Alabama,” Tuesday, March 24, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at WorkPlay, 500 23rd St. South, Birmingham.