The Montgomery Advertiser
By Kenneth Glasgow and Kobi Little
Alabama prisons are overcrowded. In fact, Alabama prisons are 114 percent over capacity and despite the proclamations of certain state officials, plenty of the people who are packed like sardines in these prisons can and should be released. Many of the people in this category are nonviolent offenders who have been reincarcerated because of technical parole violations.
There are hundreds of people in Alabama correctional facilities not because they committed more crimes, but because they missed a meeting with their parole officer or were noncompliant with other parole regulations.
Yes, it is important for individuals who are on parole to comply with the terms of their parole, but in Alabama the problem is that too many people are on parole too long. When this happens, parole morphs from a lifeline used for successful societal reintegration into a rope that trips and hangs people who are trying to lead normal law-abiding lives.
Today in Alabama, there are 11,605 prisoners who are serving time past their original parole eligibility date and 2,843 of those persons are low-level, nonviolent offenders. Likewise, there are thousands of people who, after serving time in prison, are released but are required to remain on parole for five to 10 additional years.