Section 41-9-1061


Published: 2015

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Section 41-9-1061

Section 41-9-1061Purposes, duties.

(a) The commission shall study the conditions, needs, issues, and problems of the criminal justice system in Alabama as it affects girls and women by conducting walk through inspections of each of the women's correctional facilities and female youth facilities and shall have unimpeded access to all documents of public record produced, used, and maintained by entities of the criminal justice system to assess the needs of the beneficiary population and to assess the impact of the commission's recommendations.



(b) The commission shall conduct beneficiary panels and focus groups to assess needs of the beneficiary population to ensure the responsiveness and accountability of the criminal justice system.



(c) In conducting such study, the commission shall study best practices regarding women victims and offenders in Alabama and other states and shall elicit views from experts in the field of criminal justice, drug treatment, and domestic violence.



(d) The commission shall review the range of services or sanctions that are needed by the criminal and juvenile justice, public health, and mental health systems to best serve the needs of the community, family, women victims, women offenders, and adjudicated female youth.



(e) Based on such research, investigation, and review, the commission shall develop comprehensive, evidence-based recommendations through all of the following:



(1) The generation of savings from the elimination of redundant administrative, management, and programmatic functions, and the reinvestment of those savings into community-based services.



(2) The development, establishment, and implementation of gender-specific risk assessments to ensure gender equity in public risk assessment.



(3) The establishment of reporting procedures between criminal justice system entities and the commission to ensure incarcerated girls and women are fairly afforded access to and are involved in the planning and evaluation of programs and services, including domestic violence services, educational services, work release, mental health services, rehabilitative programming, and supportive services for re-entry.



(4) The establishment and implementation of gender-specific risk assessments.



(5) The development of other policies, standards, or licensing procedures that will enhance gender responsiveness or gender equity, or both, in the criminal justice system.



(f) The commission may solicit the input of other government, provider, community, and consumer representatives not otherwise specified in this section, by appointing an advisory council, and by other means as it deems appropriate.



(g) The commission shall create such partnerships and tools as necessary to ensure that female offenders and female adjudicated youth in Alabama are provided a continuum of supervision strategies and program services reflecting best practices for female probationers, prisoners, parolees, and detainees in areas including, but not limited to, classification, diagnostic processes, facilities, medical and mental health care, and child custody and visitation.



(h) The commission may enter into agreements with other state agencies and public or private organizations for such additional staff or support as the commission may determine to be necessary. Any and all private funding shall be accepted only upon clear designation that such funding place no conditions on the findings or recommendations of the commission.



(i) The commission shall make recommendations for legislative or administrative rule changes that can safely reduce the women's prison population or increase the well-being of Alabama's women prisoners and criminal justice involved female youth, or both.



(j) The commission shall submit an annual report to the Legislature and the Governor no later than 20 days before the convening of each regular session. The report shall detail the development of the comprehensive continuum of care to address the gender-responsive needs of Alabama's female offenders and female adjudicated youth. The report shall highlight the existing gaps in the system and include recommendations for resources needed to reach a seamless continuum of care and other relevant information concerning the creation of a gender-responsive environment for female offenders and female adjudicated youth. The report may also include gender impact statements that provide a cost-benefit analysis comparing the costs and effectiveness of high security residential facilities, community corrections programs, community treatment programs, transitional facilities, and other alternatives to incarceration or high security correctional facilities, or both.

(Act 2010-517, p. 867, §2.)