Ward appointed to state prison council

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY — State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has been appointed to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s Alabama Criminal Justice Oversight and Implementation Council, which will help to enact Ward-sponsored prison reforms enacted by the state Legislature during its 2015 regular session.

Ward

Ward

“Alabama’s effort to reform the entire criminal justice system is a top priority for leaders of all three branches of government,” Bentley wrote in a statement. “Thanks to legislation passed in 2015, we currently have significant reform efforts under way in our state.

“I have created the Alabama Criminal Justice Oversight and Implementation Council to further our efforts toward reducing prison overcrowding and increasing public safety,” Bentley wrote. “The Council is an important part of our efforts to make Alabama’s criminal justice system more efficient and effective.”

The Council will collaborate on developing evidence-based policies and guidelines for treatment programs and community correction programs in an effort to reduce recidivism. Members will analyze data reflecting client participation in and treatment services from state-funded programs to ensure performance-based funding.

The chairman of the Council will provide oversight and accountability over criminal justice agencies at the state and local level and guide the council’s work on prison reform implementation.

Governor Bentley’s Deputy Legal Advisor, Franklin Johnson, will serve as chairman of the Council. Other members appointed to the council include:

  • Secretary Spencer Collier, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
  • Commissioner Jim Perdue, Alabama Department of Mental Health
  • Commissioner Jeff Dunn, Alabama Department of Corrections
  • Phil Bryant, Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
  • Bennett Wright, Alabama Sentencing Commission
  • State Rep. Mike Jones (R-Andalusia), chair of the Alabama House Judiciary Committee
  • State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), chair of the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee

The first meeting of the Alabama Criminal Justice Oversight and Implementation Council is tentatively scheduled for late July.