ALABAMA (WHNT) — The Alabama Department of Corrections released an additional 200 inmates from state prisons on Friday.  

Public reaction has ranged from fear to uncertainty after the release of prison inmates on Tuesday. Some fear an increase in crime and believe it will be difficult for violent offenders to readjust back into society. 

Reactions from state officials and local leaders here in North Alabama have done little to ease the fear of folks who believe an uptick in crime is almost guaranteed.

Former Limestone Correctional Facility officer Stacy George told News 19 that in the past he’s taken inmates who were under mandatory release to the bus station in the van without an ankle monitor or any way of tracking their movements.  

George says his message inbox has been flooded with concern and wants to reassure folks that this release of inmates is a totally different approach than the state has ever done, although the inmates’ charges range from drug possession to murder.  

The prisoners were released early as part of the “Mandatory Supervision Period on Certain Sentences” law that was passed in 2021 which clears the way for early releases. 

George says that the ankle monitor that fits on each freed inmate is the key to easing fears.  

“When I dropped an inmate off of the bus without an ankle monitor they can go anywhere and you don’t know where they went,” said George. “They could be under a bridge or whatever or they could go anywhere that they wanted to. With this ankle monitor they are monitored at all times and you know exactly where that person is at.”  

Inmates with charges ranging from marijuana possession to murder and whose sentences were set to end within this year will be released under the supervision of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles because of prison reform legislation. 92 inmates were released on Tuesday causing fear from victims’ families. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said victims are fearful of what could possibly go wrong. 

“I’ve seen victims literally shaking just out of the fear of somebody being released that committed a violent criminal act against their family,” Marshall said. “So, it’s traumatic and we know that it impacts them in a very profound way.”

George says the ankle monitor changes the game. 

“If that person gets off a bus and you drop them off without an ankle monitor you don’t have any clue where they are going to go at that point,” George said. “They just got out of prison and the ankle monitor has the tractability so if something goes wrong it will be proven in court. That is a very big deal to me.” 

George retired from Limestone prison in October after 13 years as an officer.