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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Alabama v. Smith PC-AL-0003
Docket / Court CV-83-1262-P ( State Court )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
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 ... read more >
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.

Kristen Sagar - 06/19/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Classification / placement
Rehabilitation
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description State of Alabama
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Filed 03/22/1983
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing PC-AL-0017 : Newman v. Alabama (M.D. Ala.)
Additional Resources
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  Reform and Regret: The Story of Federal Judicial Involvement in the Alabama Prison System
1989
Date: 04/06/1989
By: Larry W. Yackle (Boston University School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1989)
[ Detail ]

Court Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
State Trial Court
03/22/1983
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief
PC-AL-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: ACLU National Prison Project
not recorded
07/23/2020
Investigation of Alabama's State Prison for Men
PC-AL-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
not recorded
07/23/2020
Notice Regarding Investigation of Alabama’s State Prisons for Men
PC-AL-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Agricola, Algert Swanson Jr. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PC-AL-0003-0001
Graddick, Charles A. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PC-AL-0003-0001
Smyly, Terry (Alabama) show/hide docs
PC-AL-0003-0001
Other Lawyers Dreiband, Eric S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PC-AL-0003-0003
Franklin, Louis V. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PC-AL-0003-0003
Moore, Richard W. (Alabama) show/hide docs
PC-AL-0003-0003
Peeples, LLoyd (Alabama) show/hide docs
PC-AL-0003-0003

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