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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 Ala. (1975) ยง14-8-61, 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 implementation of 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 later vacated by the 11th Circuit. Newman v. Graddick, 740 F.2d 1513 (11th Cir. 1984). This led quickly to the final settlement and dismissal of the Newman litigation.

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
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing PC-AL-0017 : Newman v. Alabama (M.D. Ala.)
Additional Resources
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  Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Date: Jun. 4, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

  Reform and Regret: The Story of Federal Judicial Involvement in the Alabama Prison System
1989
By: Larry W. Yackle (Boston University School of Law)
Citation: (1989)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief
PC-AL-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/22/1983
Source: ACLU National Prison Project
Plaintiff's Lawyers Agricola, Algert Swanson Jr. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0003-0001
Graddick, Charles A. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0003-0001
Smyly, Terry (Alabama)
PC-AL-0003-0001

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