Prison reform advocates gather in Montgomery

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Tuesday, the fight for better conditions inside Alabama prisons was taken directly to lawmakers as criminal justice advocates marched on the Alabama State House.

Tuesday was the final meeting for Gov. Kay Ivey’s study group on criminal justice policy, before the meetings dozens marched from the Alabama Department of Corrections’ office to the State House.

Many of them described their efforts as fed up and wanting answers.

“All I wanted was justice and I don’t know if I’ll get justice for seven or that we’ll get justice for any of them,” said Sandra Ray.

Ray was emotional talking about the death of her son, whom she said was killed while in ADOC custody.

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, the founder of The Ordinary People Society and brother of Rev. Al Sharpton, led the march in Montgomery.

“How many deaths how many suicides, how many overdoses, how many inmate-on-inmate killings, how many officer-on-inmate killings is it going to take,” Glasgow asked.

While the demand for action was happening outside the State House, a meeting to address those concerns was happening inside.

Both Rep. Chris England and Rep. Connie Rowe are on different sides of the political aisle, but they both share the same goals of trying to fix Alabama prisons.

“So I hope and I expect in our session that we deal with sentencing reform, I hope and expect in this session that we deal with oversight of the DOC,” England said.

“I helped send a lot of people prison, not an attorney, but as a police officer. I have less leniency than a lot of people do,” Rowe said.

This was the final meeting of Ivey’s study group. Potential prison legislation could come at the end of the month.

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