Sheriff Frank Williamson addresses early releases of inmates

By  | August 2, 2022 | Filed under: News

Sheriff Frank Williamson

COLBERT COUNTY Sheriff Frank Williamson submitted an op-ed on overcrowding are our jails and State prisons.

“County Sheriff’s Offices throughout the State are continually reached out to by members of the Public with any number of recurring questions about how our departments operate. One of the most frequent questions that we field is, “Why are so many people who are convicted of crimes and sentenced to prison back out on the streets well before their sentences are completed?”

Believe me, it is frustrating to us as well! Our dedicated Deputies, District Attorneys and Judges work very hard to provide the highest level of Public Safety and to secure the appropriate sentence for individuals who are convicted of prison-worthy offenses.

But there is a big problem in keeping non-violent offenders in prison for the full length of their sentence that was handed down in Court. And here’s the problem… Alabama has catastrophic over-crowding across all of our detention facilities. Sufficient funding for detention facility expansion and modernization hasn’t passed the Legislature for decades. As a result, our State is decades late in providing the space necessary to house inmates safely and securely.

Instead, over the years, our Governors and the State Legislatures have only put a band-aid on this crisis. They have created a mandatory release list. If a particular inmate has not been convicted and sentenced because of a violent crime, they are put on that list. No one calls the Sheriff to ask if this person should be released or not. When the convict’s name rises to the top of that list, they are released.

This is a crucial issue for me. And even though Colbert County alone can’t solve the prison overcrowding problem, we (and other Alabama Sheriffs) are doing all we can to ease this situation we face every day.

As far as Colbert County is concerned, we have after many years finally are about to break ground on our County Detention Center. The effort has been a hard slough, but I pledged to see it through. And, with the help of law enforcement agencies throughout the County, our District Attorney, and our Judges we are getting there.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Frank Williamson
Tire Giant P&K Western Wear Hooey Coldwater Inn Team Defender Andy Brown Visionary Aquatic Designs Dynamic Staffing
Champy's Pie Factory OTR