Legislation | Alabama County Platform |


Foundation Principle

Alabama’s prison system faces a crisis not unlike the crisis duplicated on a daily basis in each of the 67 county jails.  The watchful eye of the federal courts, the never-ending expense of providing jail services, the growing costs of health care and the training and compensation for officers presents a challenge well beyond the reach of a county commission devoid of revenue-generating powers.  On the other hand, an efficient local law enforcement agency and jail is necessary to maintain order and to ensure the safety of all Alabamians.  The Association is gravely concerned that all reform efforts, statutory changes or administrative rules be considered only in light of direct, indirect and unintended consequences generated at the county level.

Strategic Goals

In furtherance of this Foundation Principle, the Association will actively pursue the passage of legislation to accomplish the following strategic goals: 

 To clarify that persons on parole, probation or participants in diversion programs are legally and financially state inmates for all purposes even when held for temporary confinement in the county jail or awaiting hearing or transfer to a state facility.

→ To amend Alabama law to limit the medical service costs for an individual in county custody at an amount not exceeding Alabama’s Medicaid rates and fees.

Legislative Policy

In addition to its strategic goals, the Association has adopted the following legislative policy consistent with this Foundation Principle: 

♦ Opposition to requiring mandatory training for sheriffs, sheriffs’ deputies, or other county employees without county commission approval.

♦ Opposition to any prison reform implementation activities that significantly increase costs of or create unsafe conditions in the county jail.

♦ Support for any legislation necessary to correct any consequences of prison reform implementation that negatively impact the operation of the county jail.

♦ Opposition to pleading down Class D Felonies for the purposes of convicted persons serving time in county jails.

♦ Support for providing that non-indigents serving sentences in the county jail be required to pay a portion of the cost of incarceration, including medical expenses.

♦ Support for U.S. Congress repealing the requirement that persons detained in state or county correctional facilities forfeit their Medicaid benefits immediately upon arrest.

♦ Opposition to any requirement that county government pay for the use of state inmate labor.

♦ Opposition to imposing mandated and unfunded jail standards or other procedures.

♦ Opposition to changing current law providing for feeding of prisoners unless the changes provide that the state pay all costs of feeding prisoners.

♦ Opposition to legislative or administrative efforts to put reserve deputies in regular law enforcement position.

♦ Opposition to amending Alabama’s work release law to allow wages paid to the county to be expended for purposes other than just the costs of the individual inmate’s incarceration.

♦ Support for comprehensive legislation to clarify and/or implement procedures for county inmates working outside of the jail either through work release or other programs.