about accd

Statement of Purpose

  • To promote high standards of ethical responsibility and training through professional organizations which represent all agencies and disciplines dealing with crime and delinquency.
  • To develop and maintain good professional standards and to constantly reevaluate and update programs and services for the prevention and treatment of crime and delinquency.
  • To secure public interest, understanding, and support in the state of Alabama in all ways consistent with the high purpose of this council.
  • To sponsor an annual study conference for all members of this council, persons engaged in work dealing with the crime and delinquency, and other interested persons.
  • To keep the membership informed of problems, issues, training opportunities and new developments in the field throughout our state and the nation through meetings and the publication of a newsletter.

Our History

The history of the Alabama Council on Crime and Delinquency (formerly the Alabama Probation and Parole Association) is to a considerable degree a history of the development of the field of corrections in Alabama.

In the late 1890’s, some judges were already showing reluctance to commit juvenile defendants to jail sentences and had begun the practice of probating them to social welfare organizations.

This eventually led to the establishment of juvenile courts—the first practitioners of probation in Alabama. The Juvenile Court of Jefferson County, established in 1911, had the first regularly established probation system.

Probation and parole of adults was also, of necessity, founded upon legislation. In 1897, the Alabama Legislature passed the state’s first parole law. Under the terms of this law the governor was authorized to release a prisoner form confinement and to prescribe the terms upon which he would be allowed to serve a suspended sentence. Prior to that time the only legal means by which a prisoner could be released before the expiration of his sentence was by a pardon granted by the governor.

The Constitution of 1901 gave the governor the authority to grant parole and provided for the establishment of a Board of Pardons composed of the attorney general, state auditor and secretary of state to advise the chief executive on matters of clemency and parole.

For a 20 year period – from 1919 to 1939 – an act of the 1919 Legislature allowed judges to use indeterminate sentences in certain cases involving felonies, and for the release of the prisoner by the Board of Pardons without the approval of the governor. Repealed in 1939, the law has not been enacted since.

In 1935, an executive order by the governor created the Alabama Parole Bureau to make a study of state prisoners and to recommend to the governor those worthy of parole. The bureau was composed of a chairman, an associate member and a secretary. Only one parole officers was available in the entire state for investigations and supervisions.

Shortly after World War II, sentiment among probation officers in Alabama began to crystallize into the idea of forming a statewide association of probation officers and other professional workers in the field of corrections.

At the regular conference of State Probation Officers in Tuscaloosa in August of 1946, a portion of the program was devoted to a study of probation and parole officers as professional people. This discussion led to the selection of a committee of seven to explore the entire field of professionalization and make recommendations to the entire conference at their 1947 meeting. This committee, consisting of W. K. Norton, Chairman; Fred B. Bryant, Sam Esslinger, W. T. Kemp, Margery Purdy, Harvey Searcy and Fred J. Bice, reported to the entire group at the 1947 meeting that, “After some research and a brief study of these areas, the committee reached the conclusion that only through a definite and distinct organization of parole and probation officers could meaningful standards be set up, good public relations maintained and furthered, and a workable code of ethics be developed. The whole program of professionalization seems to be capable of implementation primarily and rationally through organization.”

“The committee, therefore, desires to recommend to this conference that steps be taken this week for developing a real organization embracing all Alabama workers in the field of parole and probation.”

It was further the recommendation of the committee that the presiding officer appoint a special committee of three empowered to select a permanent committee on organization.

Accordingly, Howell Turner, the presiding officer of the conference, appointed Bruce Myers, E.E. Nash and Mrs. Edwina Mitchell to choose a committee of seven members who would have charge of developing and perfecting a permanent organization.

This committee of three members met at the Ann Jordan Lodge on Lake Martin, June 17, 18, and 19, 1947, and chose the following seven to serve as a committee to perfect an organization, prepare a constitution and bylaws to be submitted to the next meeting, and to nominate a slate of officers for the first year of the association.

The members of the special committee on organization of the Alabama Probation and Parole Association were Fred Bryant, Anniston, Chairman, W. Foster Jordan, Birmingham; Mrs. Edwina Mitchell, Montgomery; Frank Bouie, Birmingham; and Eddie Whitten, Montgomery.

The Alabama State Probation and Parole Association was actually organized and launched at a meeting of the Southern States Probation and Parole Association in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 5, 1948.

A meeting of the seven-member special committee on organization was called to meet at Nashville, and at that time the organization of the Alabama Probation and Parole Association was set up; constitution and bylaws were adopted and all the details of organization worked out.

Charter members of the association were O. N. Clabourn, Gadsden; W. N. Baker, Cullman; Jack Tucker, Tuscaloosa; Bruce Myers, Jasper; Mrs. Edwina Mitchell, Wetumpka; Jack Lendsey, Tuscaloosa; Mary Ruth Graham, Montgomery; W. Frank Ayclock; W. Foster Jordan, Birmingham; Tant Dowell, Huntsville; John M. White, Gadsden; Earl R. Wilson, Dothan; Fred G. Bice, Opelika; E. E. Nash, Birmingham; Fred B. Bryant, Anniston; Dalton Moss, Birmingham.

The name of the Alabama Probation and Parole Association was changed to the Alabama Council on Crime and Delinquency on October 21, 1966, at the annual meeting of the association. The change in name was made to broaden the scope of the association and to promote maximum involvement of agencies, organizations and interested citizens in programs affecting law enforcement, the judiciary, probation, rehabilitation and parole of both children and adults.

On May 7, 1986, the Alabama Council on Crime and Delinquency was incorporated.