New AL prison reform laws make it harder to put some behind bars - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New AL prison reform laws make it harder to put some behind bars

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

New laws may make it more difficult to put people behind bars for drug and property crimes.

Despite an overcrowded prison system, some prosecutors feel it could be sending the wrong message.

The new laws, which went into effect on Sunday, create a new class of felonies. 

They reduce the maximum jail sentence in half, and first-time drug offenders may not have the fear that they'll be spending any time behind bars.

In an effort to reduce prison overcrowding, the new prison reform bill is now in effect.

This bill has created a new Class-D felony with a range of prison time from one to five years.

Before now, a Class-C felony was the lowest felony which could send a person to prison for up to 10 years.

Prosecutors say many property crimes have been converted to Class-D felonies.

Drug possession crimes, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and other dangerous drugs, are now Class-D felonies.

Prosecutors say they're already dealing with sentencing guidelines which make it difficult to give tougher sentences.

“It doesn't have as big an impact on drug cases as it does some of the other areas, however, it does make it harder for us to send somebody to prison on a Class-D, and it also has some provisions that split sentences are preferred over just straight sentences on Class-Ds,” said Marshall County Assistant
District Attorney Chris Able.

Able says part of the bill is also to add additional probation officers to watch over those people once they are released from prison.

Copyright 2016 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Report an Error | Submit a Tip to WAFF 48

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Teen livestreamed crash that killed her sister

    Teen livestreamed crash that killed her sister

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 1:22 AM EDT2017-07-25 05:22:29 GMT
    Tuesday, July 25 2017 1:22 AM EDT2017-07-25 05:22:29 GMT

    Obdulia Sanchez was under the influence and livestreaming on Instagram when she rolled her car over into a barbed-wire fence and then a field. The crash killed her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline.

    More >>

    Obdulia Sanchez was under the influence and livestreaming on Instagram when she rolled her car over into a barbed-wire fence and then a field. The crash killed her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline.

    More >>
  • Exploding dye pack creates unforgettable image of bank robbery suspects' escape

    Exploding dye pack creates unforgettable image of bank robbery suspects' escape

    Monday, July 24 2017 5:06 PM EDT2017-07-24 21:06:08 GMT
    A dye pack hidden inside the stolen money exploded as the suspects were leaving the scene of the crime. (Source: CPD)A dye pack hidden inside the stolen money exploded as the suspects were leaving the scene of the crime. (Source: CPD)

    Columbia Police have released surveillance images of the two suspects wanted in connection with an armed bank robbery in the Five Points area. 

    More >>

    Columbia Police have released surveillance images of the two suspects wanted in connection with an armed bank robbery in the Five Points area. 

    More >>
  • Home where newborn remains were found treated as crime scene

    Home where newborn remains were found treated as crime scene

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 5:21 AM EDT2017-07-25 09:21:26 GMT
    Richardson at her first court appearance. (FOX19 NOW)Richardson at her first court appearance. (FOX19 NOW)

    The Warren County home where a newborn's body was found buried in a shallow grave is now being treated as a crime scene, authorities announced Monday.

    More >>

    The Warren County home where a newborn's body was found buried in a shallow grave is now being treated as a crime scene, authorities announced Monday.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly