The Alabama department of Corrections is a state owned agency that is responsible for the processing of criminals through the prison system of the state. The DOC has been charged with ensuring that the decision of the judiciary on punitive measures is upheld and that the offenders have access to rehabilitation initiatives while serving their sentence.
Located in Montgomery Alabama, the Department of Corrections is currently headed by Kim T Thomas who is the Commissioner of the Agency. The organization of the agency includes several divisions which are headed by assistant and deputy commissioners; the department also maintains its own legal counsel.
Movement of an offender through the Alabama Department of Corrections
Once sentenced, the offenders are immediately whisked off to an examination center where they are put through numerous behavioral and psychological tests in a bid to understand their risk level. Other factors such as the seriousness of their crime, background, dependence on illicit substances etc also play a role in the assessment process. At the end of the 3 to 6 week period, the offender is assigned to a correctional facility based on the results of this initiative.
Facilities maintained by the DOC
The Alabama Department of Corrections maintains 29 facilities apart from associating with at least 2 privately run correctional centers. Among the state owned incarceration facilities, five are maximum security prisons including the centers at Tutwile (for women), Donaldson, Holman, St. Clair and Kilby. Eleven of these facilities are medium security prisons while 13 are minimum security camps that include work centers.
Each year, nearly 3000 offenders participate in the over 24 community correction programs offered by the agency. These rehabilitative initiatives operate across 45 counties and are aimed at providing inmates with the necessary employment and life skills that they will need when they are released out of the prison system.
Among the agencies undertakings for inmate welfare and rehabilitation are several programs that impart vocational and academic education and work release facilities where certain inmates are moved during the latter stages of their sentence.The Department also offers incentive packages that can be ordered by the family and friends of the individual incarcerated in the prison.
Department of Corrections Statistics
Currently, there are over 28,000 men and almost 2500 women held in the prison system of the state of Alabama, making a total of 31,000 inmates. Of these, nearly 17,000 are black males and over 800 are black females while almost 11,000 prisoners are white males and over 1600 are Caucasian females.
Nearly 40% of the offenders in the prison system have been charged of personal crimes while over 27% have been incarcerated for property crimes and over 28% are serving time for narcotics peddling. The Department of Corrections spends an estimated $15,000 each year for the upkeep of every inmate.This is the lowest among all states in the country. In fact, the amount of money allotted to correctional initiatives is among the lowest of all states.
Alabama still has the capital punishment system and in 2012, there are almost 190 male inmates and 4 female prisoners on death row. The Holman Correctional Facility is used for carrying out capital punishment sentences. Unless the offender chooses electrocution, lethal injection is the method used for execution.
Death row inmates are either held at the Holman or the William. E . Donaldson Correctional Facilities while female offenders on death row are incarcerated at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women.
The DOC has also undertaken a myriad of initiatives in the interest of public safety. The agency offers a host of facilities to community members such as the inmate locator program, listing of parole violators, escapees and death row inmates. They also offer statistical reports that help the government and the public to gauge the crime scenario in the state.