Gabrielle Simmons named to Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
Gabrielle Simmons, the operations director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles with nearly two decades of experience in the Bureau, was named to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday.
Gov. Kay Ivey announced the appointment in a news release.
Simmons, who served as the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles operations director, said in a statement she was “excited” about the position.
“I’m excited about my new position,” the statement said. “I’ve worked the majority of my career in conjunction with the Board. Public safety is first and foremost to me, and I plan to look at each file on an individual basis to make an informed decision using my knowledge and experience with adult probation and parole.”
Simmons has worked in the Bureau since 2004. She began her career as a probation and parole officer at the Montgomery Field Office back in 2006 before earning a promotion as senior probation and parole officer. She became director of board operations in October 2020.
She joins Board Chair Leigh Gwathney, Darryl Littleton and Kim Davidson, at a time when parole grants have fallen steeply, according to an analysis done by al.com. It went from 54% in 2017 to about 6% in July.
Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa introduced a bill in the past session that would have created a council to establish guidelines for considering parole decisions for those who have been incarcerated. It would have mandated the Board follow the guidelines and give an explanation for whenever they deviate from them.
It also gives those who the Board has denied parole the chance to appeal that decision to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. The bill did not pass.