Prison Overcrowding: Alabama

Below is a summary of information including: statistics from Alabama’s Department of Corrections, an overview of the state’s prison overcrowding dilemma, as well as helpful references and points of contact for those interested in resolving the problem.

Facts and Figures 2007-2008

DOC Costs

  • Annual budget: $411 million
  • Community Corrections budget:$6.1 million
  • Average annual cost per inmate:$15,136

DOC Staff and Population

  • Total department active personnel: 29,959
  • Total incarcerated under DOC jurisdiction: 30,896
  • Total number of facilities: 30
  • Overall System Occupancy Rate: 188 percent
  • Escaped: 3
  • Average age of inmates: 37 years
  • Average age of facilities: 32 years old
  • Compete with private-industry: yes
  • Facilities: 64
  • Population: 58,862

Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles 

Overcrowding Quick Facts

“Unless the Admissions to Releases rate number can be reduced to zero or become a negative number, all solutions  such as squeezing more beds into existing space, outsourcing prisoners to private contractors, building new facilities, and/or moving inmates to minimum security work release facilities  are only temporary fixes. All existing space will eventually be filled and the acquisition of additional space is cost prohibitive.”

“The ADOC was authorized to hire 5,423 personnel in FY 2008 for all classifications, but had on hand only 4,019, nearly 26% fewer than authorized at the end of the fiscal year. The number of authorized Correctional Staff was 3,915 with only 2,844 on hand, or a shortage of 1,071 (about 27%).”

“In the last 40years, the jurisdictional inmate population of the Alabama Prison System has increased by more than 600%. In 1968, the population was 4,017, compared to 29,959 at the end of Fiscal Year 2008 which represents an increase of 25,942 or 646%. The 40year period was marked by an inmate population increase of epic proportion, primarily resulting from convictions for drug related offenses beginning in the decade of the 80s.”

Points of Contact

For general inquiries about the Department’s activities, view here.

News and Media

Helpful Links

2008 Annual Report

 See also:

Arkansas Prison Overcrowding