Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Corrections citing violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments rights of incarcerated men in state prisons due to unconstitutional levels of overcrowding, understaffing, and violence. It is time for a change and we can help!
With more than half of the 2021 legislative session complete, state lawmakers just advanced HB107. This bill will repeal Alabama's Habitual Felony Offender Act, also known as HFOA, which affects over 6,000 people who are serving enhanced prison sentences based on prior offenses. Meanwhile, close to 500 people have been sentenced to die in prison for crimes committed decades ago. Alabama's law is vastly out of line with similar "three-strike" laws in other states because it does not account for the time between prior offenses and allows for multiple offenses to arise from a single incident.
Additionally, three out of four people sentenced to die in prison under HFOA are Black. These overly punitive sentences are driving mass incarceration and overcrowding in Alabama's prisons and it is time we repeal this law. Repealing HFOA would allow those sentenced under this law to petition courts for resentencing and restore discretion to the courts.
Not only is the law unjust, but 30% of the HFOA population in Alabama prisons are also over the age of 50, and as they continue to age, the cost to keep them incarcerated will only increase to meet their medical needs. The cost of incarcerating people rises dramatically as they get older, but evidence strongly supports a decreased risk of reoffending as people age. Alabama simply cannot afford to warehouse people who pose no threat to public safety in overcrowded, violent prisons.
Let Alabama lawmakers hear from us, the people, that we want to get rid of this unjust and expensive law.
Your State Representatives