MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Today, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles (ABPP) convened for parole hearings for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted day-to-day activities. After months of drastically reduced parole grants, highlighted in an ACLU of Alabama report, the parole board denied parole to 20 out of 22 eligible people, granting parole to only two people, according to the board’s minutes.
Before Governor Ivey appointed the current Director Charlie Graddick, ABPP was averaging 355 hearings per month, before sharply declining to 144 under Graddick’s management. One case in which they denied parole is a man who has served 19 years and 8 months of a 20 year sentence. Denying his parole means he'll stay in a horrifically overcrowded work release center for three more months in a global pandemic until he reaches his end of sentence in August, when he will be released with no supervision.
ACLU of Alabama Executive Director Randall Marshall said:
“The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles doesn’t seem to understand the severity of Alabama’s prison crisis. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, in which this deadly virus is already infecting people who live and work in state facilities. It is grossly irresponsible for ABPP to continue to deny parole in over 90 percent of cases heard, particularly considering how few they are scheduling. If they will not do their job appropriately, then Governor Ivey must step in.”