Parole Problems

You've probably heard the saying, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."

But there's been a twist on that statement here in Alabama. People are doing the crime, they are not doing the time.

Violent criminals are getting out of prison years before their sentences are complete.

This is an update to a FOX10 News investigation.

Earlier this month, we put the spotlight on Alabama's parole system.

It's a system some lawmakers and victims say is broken.

Following orders from the governor, the parole board released its corrective action plan.

We've got a copy -- and reaction from a victim.

Rosalie Dumas says her son Bill was 28 years old when he was murdered. He was shot and killed in bed by his ex-wife on Oct. 5, 1990.

"She had gone in when he was in the bed asleep," Rosalie Dumas said. "He worked shift work, and she shot him in the back the head with a rifle."

For the crime, Karla Dumas got a 60-year sentence.

Rosalie Dumas said, "I think she was sentenced to 60 years, and she should serve every day of it."

Not a parole hearing for Karla goes by without the Dumas family being there. They want her to serve all her time, but they fear she may not.

"She said that we need to understand that when we come back in five years that she will be released," Rosalie Dumas said. "I don't know how they can make that statement five years ahead of time."

Tabitha Dumas, the daughter of the murder victim, said, "It's tough, but it's almost like they are preparing us, so I'd rather have five years and know then be caught off guard."

This is just one of many families concerned with Alabama inmates coming up for early parole.

Following reports the state parole board had freed violent inmates, the Gov. Kay Ivey called for improvements.

This is the corrective action plan the board came up with:

First, they say the review committee in charge of picking the cases to be considered by the board will now consist of three senior supervisors.

Second, inmates convicted of Class A felonies involving serious physical injuries, rape where the victim was under 12, or manslaughter, must now serve 85 percent of their sentences or 15 years, whichever is less, to be eligible for parole.

Third, a checklist will be used to record reasons why early parole is being granted or denied.

But challenges facing the agency are also noted in the plan. These include trouble offering competitive wages, finding qualified candidates and an increasing offender-to-parole officer ratio, which is up to 165-to-1 -- far above a goal of 75-to-1.

The Dumas family says they don't have faith in the parole board.

They say it's not about victims. Rather, they say, it's about reducing the prison population.

Rosalie Dumas said, "When we went there the last time, which was in February, the person moderating the panel introduced himself and said he had been appointed by the last two governors to lower the population of the prisons."

Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said that to really address the problem, there has to be more money for prisons, because crime isn't going away.

"Absolutely there's a push to get them out," Rich said. "It's all about money, and we are not spending our money wisely with the Department of Corrections. Our money would be spent wisely in building additional prisons."

FOX10 News reached out to the governor's office for reaction.

Ivey's offic said said the plan was under review and would be discussed with the attorney general before further action is taken.

There is another looming deadline.

That's when the 75-day moratorium will be lifted, towards the end of the year.

All content © 2018, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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