As it works to help keep Alabamians safe by supervising thousands of parolees and probationers, the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles will work toward hiring 138 new officers over the next three years, Director Charlie Graddick said Thursday.
The plan to hire more officers is part of the Bureau’s agenda for the 2020 session of the Alabama Legislature, which began Feb. 4.
Judge Graddick said to bring parole and probation officer caseloads to a target ratio of 75:1, the Bureau’s goal will be to hire 138 officers to be distributed over field offices throughout Alabama. Hiring would be spread over three years.
“Our number one priority is the safety of Alabamians,” Judge Graddick said. “Our officers supervise thousands of probationers and parolees, and we do not have enough officers to cover our caseload of offenders we are required to supervise. These officers serve the vital role of helping the protect the public while working to help former inmates successfully transition to productive and law-abiding lives. It is important that we put more officers into the field to do this vitally important work. This should help reduce recidivism rates too.”
Judge Graddick said the Bureau also needs to nearly double its number of specialist positions, from 66 to 128, over three years to reduce the paperwork burden on the officers to allow them to spend much more time supervising parolees and probationers. The Bureau is pursuing legislation that, among other things, will allow for specialists to undertake much of the report writing, assessment functions, and court appearances statutorily assigned to officers so that officers can be freed up to be in the field supervising more efficiently and effectively.
The Bureau also is seeking to purchase more vehicles and other equipment for current officers.