Alabama Corrections Department to begin releasing sick inmates early

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama corrections officials will begin
releasing sick or dying prison inmates next month in order to save
millions in taxpayer dollars.

Prison commissioner Richard Allen said each of the inmates costs
the state $60,000 to $65,000 in medical costs.

He said about 125 of them will be eligible for the furloughs that will begin on Sept. 1.

But victims rights advocates say the program is too broad and they fear it will lead to dangerous criminals getting back on the streets.

There are about 25,000 inmates in Alabama prisons, and prisoners
eligible for the program are 55 or older and have life-threatening
illnesses.

Allen said those who are convicted of capital crimes and most sex crimes won't be eligible.

A Montgomery Advertiser review found 37 states have similar
programs.


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