AL Sentencing Commission Annual Report


The Sentencing Commission’s 2009 annual report is now available online.  Below are a few excerpts on community corrections.

Sentencing Alternatives:

“The Department of Corrections is now operating at 190% capacity, counting the inmates housed in county jails awaiting transfer it would be operating at 203% capacity. As of January 2009, there were 2,312 inmates diverted to community corrections. Without this alternative, the Department of Corrections would be required to house these offenders, utilizing more beds than any one facility now is capable of providing. While this figure may not seem dramatic when compared to the total inmate population, these prison diversions demonstrate success in reducing the prison population and providing other means of punishing and providing drug and alcohol treatment to non-violent offenders.

Alabama lacks a true continuum of statewide community supervision and treatment services with clearly defined roles and comprehensive services. It is clear that a system of intermediate community-based punishment options must be developed statewide for felony offenders, maximizing community and State resources and providing quality substance addiction/abuse and mental health treatment, both in-patient and out-patient. These services must be available at sentencing , as well as revocation and reentry, increasing in levels of supervision and treatment according to the offender‘s risk and needs.

The Sentencing Commission has been attempting to resolve the problem of insufficient and inadequate sentencing alternatives in Alabama since the Commission was created. Among its first recommendations to the Legislature was amendment of the Community Punishment and Corrections Act to establish a permanent Community Corrections Division within the Department of Corrections with a full-time director and support staff to undertake the statewide expansion of community corrections programs. In addition, based on the recommendations of the Sentencing Commission, the amended Community Corrections Act established a revolving fund in the State Treasury for appropriations dedicated specifically for the initiation and expansion of community-based punishment programs for eligible felony offenders.

The Commission has consistently recommended that the Legislature provide adequate funding to develop a statewide network of effective community correction programs. The appropriation for community corrections programs has increased from $2 million to over $6.1 million annually. As a result of adequate funding by the Legislature and expansion efforts by the ADOC and the Sentencing Commission, since 2002 the number of community corrections programs in Alabama has grown from 18 programs to 34 programs operating in 45 Counties, with the newest program being Russell County Community Corrections, which started up in 2008.”

State Savings:

 

“In 2008 there were 2,312 community correction diversions for a savings of incarceration costs of approximately $9,125 per inmate per year or a total of approximately $21 million per year.”

Map of AL Community Corrections

 

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