DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Overcrowding, violence, and financial burdens. These problems within Alabama’s troubled state prison system are having a direct impact on sheriffs in the wiregrass.
Dale County Sheriff, Wally Olson, considers himself lucky with only a small percentage of state inmates landing in his jail, but the sheriff feels the Alabama Department of Corrections needs to pick up its game.
The Dale County Jail’s maximum capacity is 116. Currently, Sheriff Wally Olson says he is holding
18 state prisoners and five parolees.
The Alabama Department of Corrections is supposed to transport an inmate to a state prison once their convicted and their sentence is set.
But due to overcrowding and the troubled prison system threatened by federal lawsuits, Sheriff Olson
says many of these state prisoners are staying too long in county jails.
“We have been meeting with those individuals with the state trying to expedite trying to get these state inmates to the department of corrections,” said Olson. “So, it is a work in progress of course everyone had setbacks due to the pandemic.”
Sheriff Olson says the state not moving its inmates is not only creating financial issues for himself, but other wiregrass sheriffs.
“These inmates are being vaccinated, they are being isolated to where their are no worries about them having the virus to pass on at the state level,” said Olson. “We just feel that the state needs to expedite the way they take these inmates from us.”
After Governor Ivey’s plan to build three mega prisons failed due to financing issues, officials hope to be able to come up with a solution to get state prisoners out of county jail facilities.