Tri-City Ledger -

By Our View 

Parole board did its job well

 

February 6, 2020



In the wake of last week's partial closure of the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore and the moving of 617 inmates to other overcrowded prisons in the state of Alabama we received an email Monday that the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles had scheduled 80 parole hearings this week.

Two residents convicted from Escambia County were on that list.

Our first thought with the looming prison crisis and adding inmates to already overcrowded facilities, is that this would be a good time for a parole hearing. If we had to bet, we felt the parole board would have felt pressure to take the majority of those 80 out of prisons to help ease the overcrowding problem.

Wednesday morning we got another release concerning the 28 inmates who had parole hearings Tuesday. Our first thought was that the majority of those inmates had been granted parole. We were wrong.

Of the 28 cases before them Tuesday, 23 were sent back to prison and only five were granted early release.

There was another day of parole hearings Wednesday, but we won't get those results until Thursday or Friday morning.

Although we did some research on the two convicted in Escambia County, we don't know the details of the others. There was one column on the news release that listed whether an inmate was a violent defender or not a violent defender.

Michael Anthony Woods, who was listed as a non-violent defender from Escambia County was denied parole. His record is long and confusing with a bunch of convictions of drug possession, drug distribution and multiple violation of probation charges where the system tried to give him an opportunity to turn his life around.

We applaud the parole board for looking at each individual case and making a decision on whether that person was ready to be put back into society vs. feeling the need to turn criminals loose to ease overcrowding.

The parole board has a tough job. It appears to us that it doesn't allow politics to enter into its decision process. Thank goodness.

 
 

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