ACLU praises Alabama diversion law, but experts see little impact on prison population

al.com
Brendan Kirby

The American Civil Liberties Union produced this map showing Alabama among eight states with the largest increases in their prison populations from 2006 to 2011. The state has the third-highest incarceration rate in the country.

The American Civil Liberties Union includes a law passed by the Alabama Legislature this year among a list of measures throughout the country that the organization contends will combat “overincarceration.”

But reform advocates and experts agree that the Alabama law, which creates a statewide pretrial diversion program, will have little if any effect on the prison population.

“It’s not going to have a significant impact,” said Susan Watson, the executive director of the ACLU’s Alabama branch. “But you could say it’s a first step to addressing incarceration.”

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