Task force tours prison as inmate advocates seek voice

Sep 4, 2019

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former inmates and family members of current ones are seeking a voice on prison reform.

The inmate advocates on Wednesday packed a meeting of the Governor's Study Group on Criminal Justice. They are urging state officials to listen to the experiences of those behind bars as they weigh solutions for the state's longstanding prison problems.

Sixty-two-year-old Lee Lewis, who served time for assault, said stabbings and violence happen regularly behind bars.

The study group on Wednesday also toured Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore. Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn says the facility illustrates problems facing the system: Too few officers trying to keep order over too many inmates in building layouts that make training classes difficult.

Gov. Kay Ivey convened the study group to make recommendations ahead of the 2020 legislative session.