MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey has appointed a new commissioner for the Alabama Department of Corrections. Just two weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice filed another complaint about prison conditions in Alabama.
Tuesday morning John Hamm, the current Deputy Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, will serve as the new commissioner.
In a press release, the governor said current ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn will resign at the end of the year.
Governor Ivey said the Department of Corrections made “significant progress” under Dunn’s leadership.
However, just two weeks ago the DOJ issued an updated complaint in the ongoing lawsuit against Alabama over prison conditions.
In that complaint, Justice Department officials said that violence remains persistent in facilities that are overcrowded and understaffed, things Dunn said he had been working to improve.
The federal government first warned the state of unconstitutional prison conditions three years ago. Late 2020 year the DOJ sued the state over the conditions, saying they appeared to violate the constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
In October, the legislature approved construction plans for two new men’s prisons in the state.
Dunn was appointed to his position as commissioner in 2015 by then-Governor Robert Bentley, after serving nearly 30 years in the air force.
Hamm has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement, including work in state and local corrections. He also led the State Bureau of Investigation prior to his role at ALEA.
Governor Ivey did not say why Dunn was leaving his position. Hamm will assume his new role following Dunn’s departure at the end of the year.