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Three Big Things

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  • AG Marshall: 1,000-1,200 additional inmates subject to early release by July under 2021 criminal justice law

    Initial reports stated a so-called criminal justice reform law passed in a special session of the Alabama Legislature in 2021 would soon result in the mass release of 369 inmates incarcerated in the state's corrections system.

    The number has since increased to more than 400.

    However, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, up to 1,200 inmates could be released under this law by July.

    During an appearance on Mobile radio's FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," the state's top law enforcement official called on Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature to act sooner rather than later to change the law and cited the number as the justification.

    "I think it can happen immediately by the Governor calling a special session," he said. "Because, again, there are roughly another 1,000-1,200 inmates that are going to come out under this same cycle as a result of the 2021 law over the next several months. I think acting quickly would be prudent for everybody to call a special session. Let's have that joint committee of both the House and the Senate to come together and have a discussion about what does notification look like?"

    "What does supervision and release look like?" Marshall continued. "Are there ways of doing reentry inside the wire – basically in prison itself, beginning the program that makes sense? And then can we potentially look at, rather than early release of individuals with supervision, we put that on the end of sentence to make sure the original sentence itself is effectuated. The judge's intentions, where they put somebody in prison, comes to reality, and then we evaluate what recidivism really looks like and what that means."

    When asked to clarify the number, Marshall confirmed that he had been told an additional 200 inmates a month could go free under the law.

    "What we're being told right now is that roughly there are an additional 200 inmates a month through July that are likewise by the 2021 [legislation], that roughly 1,000 to 1,200 — now, we'll see what that number ultimately shows us, but that's what we're being told tentatively right now are still to come out between now and July," he said.

    Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.


    AG Marshall: 1,000-1,200 additional inmates subject to early release by July under 2021 criminal justice law (1819news.com)

  • Biden to reflect on COVID, Jan. 6 in State of the Union, call democracy 'bruised' but 'unbroken'

    President Biden is expected to tout the progress made under his administration in his State of the Union address, specifically with regard to the economy and COVID.

    "The story of America is a story of progress and resilience…We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it. That is what we are doing again," Biden is expected to say, according to prepared remarks.

    "Two years ago our economy was reeling. As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs – more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years. Two years ago, COVID had shut down our businesses, closed our schools, and robbed us of so much," Biden is set to say. "Today, COVID no longer controls our lives."

    Biden is also expected to reference the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

    "And two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War," Biden will say. "Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken."

    Biden is set to lay out his economic plan, which he will say is "about investing in places and people that have been forgotten."

    "Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last two years," Biden is expected to say. "This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives."

    Biden is expected to call on his "Republican friends," calling for bipartisanship in the new Congress.

    "The people sent us a clear message," he will say. "Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere."

    Biden is set to double down on his "vision for the country," which he says is "to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class, to unite the country. We’ve been sent here to finish the job!"


    State of the Union 2023: Biden will praise economic progress and call democracy 'bruised' by COVID, Jan. 6 but 'unbroken' in address | Live Updates from Fox News Digital

  • Council moves forward on parking garage plan, delays land swap deal

    The Mobile City Council approved design services for a new Civic Center parking garage and designs for a new Africatown Welcome Center, and laid over a land swap deal until April at their regular meeting Tuesday morning.

    However, the decision to move forward with the $850,000 contract to create a full architectural and engineering plan for the parking garage near the proposed site for a new Army Corps of Engineers office building was not without significant deliberation between District 2 Councilman William Carroll and District 4 Councilman Ben Reynolds in the pre-council meeting.

    “I’m going to ask that we table this,” Carroll said. “Evidently, there seems to be a whole lot of confusion with what's going on with the actual variances over there. I understand yesterday we had a council member who is actually lobbying for all the variances to go away including the setbacks. We have a board of zoning and adjustments that does not know where we are going with this.”

    He said the proposed parking garage is planned to accompany a building that “we don't know we’re going to build yet.”

    Reynolds answered that the council should move forward with the parking garage, saying he told the board on Monday the city wants the Corps to build their offices on the Civic Center site.

    “That's what this City Council has said,” Reynolds said. “We’ve executed a lease to that effect. The city also, by the law this City Council passed, said we don’t want all the setbacks, we don’t want all the variances, we don’t want all this other stuff. The law is very clear with that.”

    Carroll said he was only concerned with the garage, not the building, at the moment. He held the motion should be tabled “until there’s some clarity on what we’re going to do with that parking garage,” adding that he hoped the plan is to move forward with it “without causing undue confusion.”

    Council President C.J. Small said the agenda item would not be tabled and would go before a vote in the regular meeting. When the time to vote came, Carroll said he was “fine with passing it today” and joined the council in approving it.

    District 6 Councilman Scott Jones abstained. He told Lagniappe after the meeting he did not vote because he felt the garage plans should be done in conjunction with the Corps’ office plans.

    “We need to finalize that,” Jones said.

    Carroll said he supports moving both developments forward and wants the garage progress to come along “behind or parallel” to the Corps’ building.

    The first phase of designs and permitting for the Africatown Welcome Center can now move forward after a unanimous vote from the council. Mott MacDonald Architects will fulfill the almost $400,000 contract.

    A land swap deal between the city and the county’s school systems for three acres of school property behind the former Mobile Press-Register building on Water Street in exchange for owning the land beneath Calloway-Smith Middle School will be up for approval in more than a month.

    City spokesman Jason Johnson attributed the delay to possible subdivision zoning issues and attorneys still finalizing the deal’s details.


    Council moves forward on parking garage plan, delays land swap deal | News | lagniappemobile.com

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