Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alabama Prison Numbers on Rise...AGAIN

The Birmingham News is reporting that while the number of state prison inmates declined nationally the number increased in Alabama...mostly due to non-violent drug offenses.

The nation's number of state prison inmates dropped slightly in 2009 -- the first decrease recorded in nearly 38 years -- but Ala­bama's prison population went in the other direction.

According to a report from the Public Safety Per­formance Project of the Pew Center on the States, Ala­bama's jurisdictional prison population -- the number of inmates the state is re­sponsible for housing -- to­taled 31,561 on Jan. 1. That is an increase of 3.5 percent over the population of 30,508 listed on Dec. 31, 2008.

Over the same period, ac­cording to the report, the nation's state prison pop­ulation dropped 0.4 percent, from 1,408,830 to 1,403,091.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Richard Al­len said his department has been working to reduce its prison population. If the state had not adopted a package of sentencing guidelines several years ago, the population would be even higher, he said.

One problem is that judges and district attor­neys are not using the guidelines as much "as we think they should," Allen said.

According to a Depart­ment of Corrections report prepared for Allen, drug of­fenders made up nearly 34 percent of the 11,729 in­mates who entered the ju­risdictional prison popula­tion in fiscal 2008.

So, 34% of the new entries into the prison system in Alabama were drug offenders. Boy I tell ya, that drug war just works out so magnificently for keeping people from using drugs, don't it?

Why can't legislators grow a pair and stop doing stupid shit like this which only makes the problem worse?

1 comment:

Letters from Ripley said...

While I agree with most of what you've said...I'd like for the statistics to be more complete. Just collecting them and saying "X" number were drug-related...probably isn't enough to do a good convincing job.

I'm one of those that would put the grass smokers on one side....and the meth users on the other side. Grass smokers aren't really a threat to anybody...other than falling asleep on your couch. A meth guy...can't be given the same amount of trust. And when you look at the increases here....I'm willing to bet it's not more grass smokers ending up in's more meth users.

The public...especially in rural areas of Bama...are having a bad taste in their mouth when dealing with friends, relatives or neighbors who are on meth.