MONTGOMERY, Al – Judge Charlie Graddick, Director, today said in mid-October the Bureau will enhance operations by joining the Alabama Department of Transportation and other tenants at Capitol Commerce Center, 100 Capitol Commerce Blvd.
Graddick said the move is necessary not only to allow landlord Retirement Systems of Alabama to renovate the Bureau’s current building on Ripley St. but also to bring ABPP’s various departments under one roof.
“We are tremendously excited that we were able to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said. “Our present location is distressed, our operation here is disjointed and, importantly, the Bureau will be getting much more needed space while saving taxpayers approximately $6 per square foot.
“Also, if I haven’t made this clear, I’ll do so today. The Bureau is not only a law enforcement agency, it’s a service agency. Our primary purpose is to try to protect the people to the fullest extent possible. Our purpose is not to give all criminals a get out of jail free card but rather to try to send rehabilitated offenders home to their families and to rejoin society as safe, productive citizens.
“The best way to protect the people is to provide our probation and parole officers the best tools to do that very thing. This relocation is going to bring our support people closer together to help those in the field with their difficult, dangerous tasks.”
Graddick said all his professional life, as Mobile District Attorney, as State Attorney General and as a presiding judge, he has been told that communications have been lacking between the ABPP central office and field operations.
“We are changing this sad reality,” he said. “One of my top priorities is to better inform and equip our field operations so our people can better protect the public.”
He said the three-stage move will commence with relocation of some central staff in October followed by support staff like Field Services and Board Operations. His goal is to relocate fully by April, 2020.
Parole Board hearings will continue to be conducted at the Bureau’s present location on Ripley St. but ultimately will relocate, possibly as early as January.
Other advantages created by the move include very accessible free parking for those attending hearings. At present, he said, some must park blocks away, making it hard on persons with disabilities, the young and those who perhaps have been injured.
“Much of the new office space has been unoccupied for almost eight years,” he said. “It fits our needs. This is a win, win, win for employees, taxpayers and the Bureau as a whole.”