For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2023
For press inquiries only, contact:
Amanda Priest (334) 322-5694
Cameron Mixon (334) 242-7491
(MONTGOMERY)—Attorney General Steve Marshall hailed the legislature’s passage today of a bill to overhaul state law on correctional incentive time–good time–for inmates. Senate Bill 1, the Deputy Brad Johnson Act sponsored by Senator April Weaver, passed the Senate by a vote of 99 to 1 on March 23rd. Representative Russell Bedsole handled the bill in the House of Representatives, where it passed today by a vote of 79 to 24. It now goes to the Governor for her signature.
“Today, the Alabama Legislature took a significant and long-awaited step in expanding public safety and honest sentencing in this state,” said Attorney General Marshall. “The man who killed Brad Johnson should have never been out of prison, much like the man who killed Nick Risner only months prior. Though it is shameful to have to continue to name laws after fallen officers, the Alabama Legislature has appropriately and forcefully reacted to the deaths of these two heroes.”
The Deputy Brad Johnson Act has three primary objectives: first, the Act reduces by half the number of days off a sentence that an inmate can accrue. Presently, state law allows an inmate to receive up to 75 days off a sentence for every 30 days served. Second, the Act requires inmates to demonstrate good behavior for longer periods of time before progressing to higher-earning classifications for days off. Lastly, the Act explicitly prohibits an inmate from good time off if he or she commits certain serious violations in prison—including homicide, escape, and assault.
Attorney General Marshall continued, “Far too many offenders are currently serving one-third or less of the sentence imposed by a judge—the beneficiaries of this early-release policy include violent offenders, certain sex offenders, and sadly, even those who escape from custody. Under this law, good-time eligible inmates will no longer be automatically awarded days off their sentence but will truly have to earn it. Further, those inmates who escape custody, harm correctional officers, or harm their fellow inmates, will duly disqualify themselves from earning good time altogether. These common-sense improvements to our justice system are long overdue.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Senator Weaver and Representative Bedsole for many months on this important public safety measure and I am grateful for their tenacity in seeing this across the finish line. I am also grateful to the leadership of the House and Senate, and to all of those who supported this bill throughout the legislative process. I greatly look forward to Governor Ivey signing this bill into law.”