DALE COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) —Dale County Sheriff Mason Bynum and Henry County Sheriff Eric Blankenship are against the state’s decision to release 400 inmates from the Alabama Department of Corrections back into their communities over the next few months.
“Manpower is limited anyway and you’re releasing an additional 400 inmates I think it’s going to put a burden on the whole pardons and parole to law enforcement,” said Sheriff Blankenship.
But not only are law enforcement concerned about manpower, but they are also concerned about their duty in keeping public citizens safe.
According to the freed list released by the Alabama Department of Corrections, 19 of the inmates committed crimes here in the wiregrass, and over 60 percent of those inmates committed violent crimes.
“There needs to be some truth in sentencing if they get the time they need to do the time and pay their debt to society and once that’s done they can be released but letting them out early I don’t know what that’s accomplishing,” said Sheriff Bynum.
The release stems from legislation that was passed last year in a special called legislative session to release prisoners who have anywhere from two weeks to 10 months left until their full sentence to ease prison issues.
They will still be monitored using an ankle monitor under the release law.
In fact, Sheriff Blankenship believes the prison system needs to be reformed.
If we keep continuing to keep releasing them back through the prison system or court system before they are ever sentenced to it, we are going to keep dealing with the same repeated offenders or the same crime rate if there are no consequences to their actions,” said Blankenship.
Although the sheriffs are against the release, they say it’s tough to deal with considering they didn’t have any input in this release. However, both sheriffs say they applaud the state’s attorney general for standing up for crime victims who were not notified of the first wave to release prisoners.