Broken 'catch and release' system setting criminals free early
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
Tuesday's announcement of the arrest of James Grimes for child abuse once again highlights our broken prison and parole system. It's a catch and release system that far too often lets violent offenders out after serving only a fraction of their sentence, only to prey on more innocent people. NBC 15's Andrea Ramey has been investigating this issue reports on one mother's terrifying story.
Inside this Carver Street home January 30th, 2014, LaTosha Balams was brutally attacked, stabbed four times in the back abdomen and heart.
"Her daughter is watching this. Her three-year-old daughter is there while this attack is happening," said LaTosha's mom Debra Balams.
LaTosha endured over half a dozen surgeries, including two heart surgeries and still suffers complications from the attack.
Yet, her attacker, Kayla French, almost got to walk free this year.
"She was granted parole," said Balams.
French was initially charged with attempted murder. She pled guilty to assault and was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2015. In August Debra Balams says they found out French was granted parole, not even three years into that 13 year sentence.
"We were never notified," said Balams.
Because that notification went to the wrong address. Balams says the slip-up gave them the chance to formally object to the board about French's early release.
"They stopped it," said Balams.
Though it won't happen this year, French is still slated to be let out early.
"We learn as children there are consequences to our actions. She's got to serve this time," said Balams.
Balams has evolved from outraged mother to advocate telling her story to whomever will listen in hopes of bringing change to a broken system.
"Stop letting these criminals out. We got to stop. We got to make a stand, If you did something wrong, you have to suffer the punishment. Stop this. It's insane. It's madness and enough is enough," said Balams
According to records, French is scheduled to be released in 2020, serving less than half the time the judge ordered.
SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS: Catch and Release — Alabama’s Parole Problem An NBC 15 roundtable December 10 : https://bit.ly/2RGAO0Y