Alabama paroles drop further; releases lag for Black inmates

Alabama News

Inmates sit in a treatment dorm at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore, Ala., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. The Department of Justice has threatened to sue Alabama over excessive violence and other problems in state prisons for male inmates. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The rate of state inmates being granted freedom by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles has dropped for the third straight year.

A local news outlet reports the three-member board granted parole for 648 inmates and turned down 3,584 others during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

The approval rate for the year was less than half the average of 37% for the previous 10 years. Statistics also show Black prisoners are being granted parole less than half as often as their white counterparts.

Critics say the board isn’t following its own guidelines in refusing so many paroles. But the head of an advocacy group for crime victims says the numbers reflect the large number of violent offenders in prison.

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