Houston County is the 12th largest county in the Alabama population.
But it is ranked number five for having the most inmates per capita, just below Montgomery and Jefferson County. This means for every 13 Houston County residents one is serving time.
District attorney, Doug Valeska said he is satisfied with these numbers.
“And over the years I’m definitely not ashamed of that. In fact I’m very proud of that, because the bottom line - violent, dangerous people who are in prison can’t prey upon women and children and commit murders, rapes, robberies, and hurt the citizens of Houston County.”
Houston County has ranked as high as number one in the state for sending criminals to jail. The top five counties account for almost half of the state’s total inmates.
“I hear all the time that there are other alternative means besides prison,” said Valeska. “No there’s not. When you commit these violent crimes you need to be in prison, so you can never hurt anyone again.”
Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes said Dothan is the largest county within a 90 mile radius. So, a larger county means more people and more crime.
“We do have a substantial amount of crime. Even though that we do still have a safe community here,” said Hughes. “But in general I think we have good law enforcement and we make good cases on all these people that come to Houston County”
Currently the county has fourteen inmates on death row and holds the record for the most jury trials.
Valeska said if you commit a crime in this county you will be punished.
“The bottom line is you do the crime, we’re going to make sure you do the time to protect our citizens.”