The current crime trends in Alabama are quite disturbing since nowadays it is possible to observe the growth of some types of crime. However, the analysis of the statistics from 2000 to 2006 the number of violent crimes in Alabama has decreased within the last years from over 21, 620 in 2000 to 19,557 in 2006. At this point it is necessary to underline that the most substantial decrease in the violent crimes occurred in 2001 when the number of such crimes has decreased by approximately 1,000, while throughout the following years and up till 2006 the level of violent crimes remained practically unchanged. Speaking about murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, that the number of these crimes increased in Alabama substantially. To put it more precisely, in 2000 the number of this type of crimes was 329, while in 2006 this number has reached 382. Though it is worth mentioning the fact that during 2002-2004 the number of murders and nonnegligent manslaughter has decreased substantially practically down to 250, but in the following couple of years, the number of these crimes has increased again overcoming the level of 2001. The forcible rape also demonstrates the trend to the growth as the number of these crimes has increased from almost 1,500 in 2000 to almost 1,650 in 2006. The same may be said about robberies, which number, though grew faster compared to forcible rape and increased from 5,702 in 2000 to 7,059 in 2006. On the other hand, the number of aggravated assaults has decreased substantially from 14,107 in 2000 to 10,647 in 2006.
As for the property crimes, the number of these crimes remained relatively stable. To put it more precisely the total number of property crime remained relatively stable and changed slightly from 180,539 in 2000 to 181, 021 in 2006, though there were periods, namely 2001 and 2005, when the number of property crimes decreased significantly. In this regard, the number of burglaries has increased the most significantly from 40,642 in 2000 to 44,571 in 2006, while larceny thefts have decreased from over 127,000 in 2000 to a bit more than 121,500 in 2006.
Thus, it is possible to speak about the slight decrease of the total number of violent crime in Alabama, but increase of property crimes. At the same time, it should be said that 48,607 persons were on probation in the state at the beginning of 2006 and by the end of the year this number exceeded 55,000 (see Table 1).
Alabama’s first parole law was passed in 1897. It authorized the Governor to discharge an inmate and suspend a sentence without granting a pardon. He was authorized to prescribe the terms upon which an inmate so paroled shall have a sentence suspended and to secure the re-arrest and re-imprisonment of any parolee who failed to observe the conditions of his parole. Prior to this law, the only legal means of releasing a prisoner before the expiration of the sentence was by pardons granted by the Governor. The Constitution of 1901 gave the Governor the power to grant paroles. It also provided for the establishment of a Board of Pardons composed of the Attorney General, the State Auditor, and the Secretary of State to advise the Governor on parole and clemency matters.