Huntsville, Tuscaloosa Among Sites for DOJ-Funded Expansion of Intensive Probation Supervision Program
HUNTSVILLE – The Department of Justice has awarded the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles $600,000 through a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant to expand the Alabama Certain Enforcement Supervision program to four additional intensive supervision pilot sites across Alabama.
Through the grant, ACES will expand to local Pardons and Paroles offices in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Dothan and Andalusia. Those cities, respectively, are in counties that collectively send more than 15 percent of the inmates annually admitted to the Department of Corrections. This funding follows $370,000 from the Department of Justice that established the state’s first four ACES pilot sites early this year.
Within ACES, individuals deemed moderate- to high-risk to reoffend will receive intensive supervision by local Pardons and Paroles officers and will be subject to swift, certain and fair sanctions if they violate the terms and conditions of release. Swift and certain sanction programs are an evidenced-based practice that has been validated to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for individuals under supervision, while enhancing offenders’ perception that the supervision decisions are fair, consistently applied, and consequences are transparent. Such programs have been proven especially effective at reducing periods of incarceration for technical violations of supervision.
ACES is based upon Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation and Enforcement program. Within three months of its implementation, the HOPE program led to an 83 percent reduction in failed drug tests, 71 percent reduction in missed appointments with probation officers, and a 70 percent reduction in the revocation rate for participating probationers.
“ACES implements the best current evidence-based practices for supervision of ex-offenders," said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. "Programs like ACES that follow the HOPE model have led to lower recidivism rates around the country by not waiting to take action until a probationer becomes a repeat offender. For Alabama to be successful in reducing recidivism and improving public safety, the highest risk ex-offenders within our communities must receive heightened supervision and services so as to improve their likelihood for successful reentry, and additional ACES sites are a step toward that goal,” she said.
"Pardons and Paroles is eager to expand the work it has been doing for the past year in Mobile, Greenville, Montgomery and Decatur, and which it hopes to eventually carry statewide," said Pardons and Paroles Executive Director Phil Bryant. "We hope to see measurable improvement of recidivism rates and decreases in technical violations. Probation and parole officers participating in the ACES pilot sites have gone above and beyond to supervise intensive caseloads in the manner prescribed by ACES, and we sincerely appreciate the cooperation from the judges and local officials who are making the pilots possible."