Alabama Department of Corrections releases plan to improve troubled prison system

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A strategic plan to improve Alabama’s troubled prison system was released Thursday morning. The release of the plan comes on the heels of a deadline the state has with the Department of Justice to address several issues. 

The DOJ released a report in early April alleging Alabama’s prisons violated the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The department says it believes the men’s prisons fail to protect inmates from prisoner-on-prisoner violence and prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse and fail to provide prisoners with safe conditions. 

“We recognize the magnitude and scope of the challenges faced by our Department and are working tirelessly to implement solutions to those issues,” said ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn. “We have a generational opportunity to reform and reshape corrections in Alabama, and this plan will guide efforts as the Department works alongside many partners.”

The Alabama Department of Corrections 2019-2022 strategic plan focuses on four specific areas: staffing, infrastructure, programming, and culture.

ADOC is severely understaffed and under a federal court order to add 2,000 officers. This plan indicates the prison system will focus on recruitment, pay increase, and training. The plan also calls for the design and construction of regional correctional facilities. The ADOC also indicates it is working to develop evidence-based rehabilitation programs to reduce misconduct and offenses after release. 

“We have already begun implementing strategies outlined in the plan, including a comprehensive workforce development campaign which has seen significant success,” said Commissioner Dunn. “We are eager to commence efforts on the additional activities outlined in the plan to continue building a stronger ADOC.”

US Attorney Jay Town told WHNT News 19 he's encouraged by the response of the system. Town said earlier this week the DOJ is hopeful it won’t need to sue the state for improvements to its prison system

You can read ADOC's full plan here.

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