Governor Ivey Establishes Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday announced that by executive order, she has established the Governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy. The primary purpose of this group is to receive and analyze accurate data, as well as evidence of best practices, ultimately helping to further address the challenges facing Alabama’s prison system.
The Ivey Administration inherited decades-old, systemic problems in the state’s prison system, including overcrowding and understaffing. The governor has consistently reminded the people of Alabama that reforming the prison system is a matter of public safety.
“The people of Alabama are not unaware of the complexities that face our state’s prison system, which take a toll on their hard-earned dollars and negatively impact public safety. The challenges we face are multifaceted, and in turn, a multifaceted solution, driven by data is necessary,” Governor Ivey said. “In establishing the Governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy, I am looking to see data driving us to even further reforms in the system. Thanks to my Administration and the Legislature, we are well on our way to making meaningful progress, and I am confident this group will help us dive even further into the facts to ensure the state’s existing efforts lead us to an Alabama solution.”
Governor Ivey also recognizes that success in achieving positive results requires continued collaboration between the executive and legislative branches of state government. To that end, the study group will consist of the governor, who will serve as the chair; the attorney general; three members of the Alabama House of Representatives appointed by the speaker of the House; three members of the Senate appointed by the president pro tempore; the commissioner of corrections; the director of finance; and additional individuals as the governor deems necessary.
Members of the group may participate by proxy, and Governor Ivey has designated Justice Champ Lyons to serve in her place as chairman.
“The primary emphasis of Governor Ivey’s new established study group is indeed to study. The Department of Corrections has important reforms underway, and we will be there to further analyze various areas of the justice system, ultimately helping our state to continue making informed, data-driven decisions,” Justice Lyons said. “We will consider the problem of recidivism and steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of a released prisoner returning back to state custody. We will also look closely at data on the current sentencing laws. As Governor Ivey has made clear, addressing the challenges facing our state’s prisons is multifaceted, and she is certainly helping bring various heads together to move the needle on this critical issue.”
From the Legislature, members of the study group include: Senators Cam Ward, Bobby Singleton, and Clyde Chambliss, as well as Representatives Jim Hill, Connie Rowe and Chris England. Additional members from the executive branch include: Attorney General Steve Marshall, Finance Director Kelly Butler and Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn.
The Governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy will convene for the first time Monday, July 22, 2019. Executive Order 718 states that the group will be dissolved effective the first day of the Legislature’s 2020 Regular Session.