Chris England

The exterior of the Alabama Statehouse, with three main doors on the bottom, rising about six stories. The walls are white with a gray cap.

Report: 16% of bills in 2023 Alabama legislative session could increase prison overcrowding

BY: - December 6, 2023

A report released Wednesday criticized Alabama lawmakers for focusing criminal justice efforts on enforcement and incarceration instead of rehabilitation and release during the 2023 session of the Alabama Legislature. The 2023 Statehouse to Prison Pipeline Report, released by the ACLU of Alabama, estimated that 141 of the 876 bills introduced during the session (16%) could […]

A man seated in a blue leather chair looking to his right.

Transportation contracts still on hold amid West Alabama Corridor dispute

BY: - October 6, 2023

Several road construction contracts remain on hold amid a dispute between  two legislators about funding the West Alabama Highway Corridor. The 13 contracts, totaling $83 million, stalled last month amid arguments between lawmakers over the cost of the project and whether infrastructure projects in the Black Belt received a proper amount of attention. Sen. Chris […]

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm refers to his presentation before lawmakers during budget hearing

Alabama Corrections Commissioner: Prisons still struggling to attract staff

BY: - September 21, 2023

The head of the Alabama Department of Corrections told legislators Wednesday that the department is still struggling to fill vacant positions. Commissioner John Hamm told the Joint Prison Oversight Committee that the department has 700 to 800 vacant security positions and about 200 vacant administrative jobs. Hamm said recruiting remains a key problem for the […]

A man seated in a blue leather chair looking to his right.

ALDOT contracts put on hold amid dispute over West Alabama Corridor funding

BY: - September 8, 2023

The Legislative Contract Review Committee Thursday put holds on Alabama Department of Transportation contracts as disputes erupted between lawmakers over the cost of the West Alabama Highway Corridor project. The arguments began after Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Josephine, began asking Clay McBrien, the assistant chief engineer of policy and planning with the Alabama Department of Transportation, […]

Gabrielle Simmons named to Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles

BY: - August 28, 2023

Gabrielle Simmons, the operations director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles with nearly two decades of experience in the Bureau, was named to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday. Gov. Kay Ivey announced the appointment in a news release. Simmons, who served as the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles […]

Bars in a prison. A staircase can be seen behind them.

Older population in Alabama prisons doubled over decade, according to report

BY: - August 10, 2023

The number of older people in Alabama’s prisons more than doubled in a little over a decade, according to a policy brief published last week by the Prison Policy Initiative, an advocacy group. The Institute, using numbers from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, reported that 15% of the people under Corrections’ jurisdiction, about 4,300 […]

The Senate chamber. A senator speaks at a podium on the far left; a group of senators huddle in a corner on the right.

New Alabama congressional map headed to final votes in Alabama Legislature

BY: and - July 21, 2023

An Alabama conference committee Friday approved a congressional map that would create a majority-Black congressional district in western Alabama and a district in southeast Alabama that would be about 40% Black.   The proposal put more Black voters in the southeastern district, a proposed 2nd Congressional District, than a Senate proposal that would have set it […]

A man in a gray suit gestures

Proposed Alabama congressional map would only have one majority-Black district

BY: - July 17, 2023

A Republican-dominated reapportionment committee Monday approved a new state congressional map that creates a majority-Black congressional district and one that is 42% Black.  The party-line vote, coming on the first day of a special session for redistricting, came after Democrats said they were being ignored in the process and after two hours of discussion that […]

Montgomery law firm getting millions of dollars for Corrections’ legal work

BY: - July 10, 2023

Lawmakers Thursday expressed concerns about the cost of litigation involving the Alabama Department of Corrections. DOC made up 31 of the 43 legal services agreements listed on Thursday’s Contract Review Committee agenda. Those contracts amounted to almost $16 million, or about 88% of the total $18.2 million that were awarded to vendors by different state […]

Picture of redistricting plan from Blacksher

In dueling Alabama congressional map proposals, a dispute over possibilities

BY: - June 29, 2023

Can Alabama draw new maps on explicitly racial lines? Maybe. “It’s kind of head spinning and even lawyers who are in the space get a little confused,” said Michael Li, a redistricting expert and senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.  At the Tuesday public hearing, attorney James Blacksher and […]

Man in blue tielooking to his left

Alabama attorney general’s office: Requirement to disclose concealed firearms unenforceable

BY: - June 28, 2023

When the Alabama Legislature last year allowed permitless carry of concealed weapons, it included a provision requiring people with concealed weapons to disclose that fact to a law enforcement officer. But a recent Alabama attorney general’s opinion says that provision may be toothless. The opinion, issued in May in response to a request from the […]

The Alabama State House of Representative floor

Alabama legislators begin reapportionment hearings amid uncertainty over new maps

BY: - June 27, 2023

The first legislative reapportionment meeting ahead of a special session next month to redraw the state’s congressional maps featured a number of speakers urging the creation of two majority-minority districts.  Evan Milligan, the plaintiff in Allen v. Milligan, which led to the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a lower court ruling effectively calling for a new […]