Case: Alabama v. Smith

83-cv-01262 | Alabama state trial court

Filed Date: March 22, 1983

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Under the impetus of federal litigation in Newman v. Alabama, on March 22, 1983, Alabama Commissioner of Corrections Freddie Smith instituted the Supervised Intensive Restitution (SIR) Program in the Alabama prison system. Under the program, which was created under Code of Alabama (1975) §14-8-61, the Alabama prisons released hundreds of inmates back into the general population, often several years before their sentences were completed. The prisoners were supervised and required to work, but …

Under the impetus of federal litigation in Newman v. Alabama, on March 22, 1983, Alabama Commissioner of Corrections Freddie Smith instituted the Supervised Intensive Restitution (SIR) Program in the Alabama prison system. Under the program, which was created under Code of Alabama (1975) §14-8-61, the Alabama prisons released hundreds of inmates back into the general population, often several years before their sentences were completed. The prisoners were supervised and required to work, but after three months of release, the supervision decreased.

Alabama Attorney General Charles Graddick filed this lawsuit against the Commissioner of Corrections in the Circuit Court for Montgomery Alabama. He asked the court to permanently enjoin the Commissioner from releasing any more prisoners under the SIR program and to declare that the program exceeded the authority of the Department of Corrections to implement.

The case was heard by state Judge Joseph Phelps, who upheld Graddick's claim and enjoined operation of the program. At this point, the Newman plaintiffs sought the federal court's intervention. In that case, on November 4, 1983, Judge Varner held Attorney General Graddick in contempt, ordering the AG to pay $1 per prisoner per day for each prisoner held in crowded conditions. The Court also ordered Commissioner Smith to continue implementing the SIR program, and the following month found him, too, in contempt, for failing to make adequate progress in solving crowding. But on appeal, both contempt sanctions were vacated by the 11th Circuit. Newman v. Graddick, 740 F.2d 1513 (11th Cir. 1984). This led to the final settlement and dismissal of the Newman litigation, and the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (6/19/2007)

Related Cases

Newman v. Alabama, Middle District of Alabama (1972)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Agricola, Algert Swanson Jr. (Alabama)

Graddick, Charles A. (Alabama)

Smyly, Terry (Alabama)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Active

Active

Active

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Agricola, Algert Swanson Jr. (Alabama)

Graddick, Charles A. (Alabama)

Smyly, Terry (Alabama)

Other Attorney(s)

Dreiband, Eric S. (District of Columbia)

Franklin, Louis V. (Alabama)

Moore, Richard W. (Alabama)

Peeples, LLoyd (Alabama)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief

Alabama ex rel. Graddick v. Smith

March 22, 1983 Complaint

Investigation of Alabama's State Prison for Men

DOJ CRIPA Investigation of Alabama's State Prisons for Men

No Court

July 23, 2020 Findings Letter/Report

Notice Regarding Investigation of Alabama’s State Prisons for Men

DOJ CRIPA Investigation of Alabama's State Prisons for Men

No Court

July 23, 2020 Notice Letter

Resources

Title Description External URL

Reform and Regret: The Story of Federal Judicial Involvement in the Alabama Prison System

Larry W. Yackle

April 6, 1989

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 22, 1983

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

State of Alabama

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Alabama Department of Corrections, State

Case Details

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Rehabilitation

Type of Facility:

Government-run