Current Campaigns

Fair schools will remain out of reach until Alabama has dismantled its school-to-prison pipeline. The school-to-prison pipeline is shorthand for a misguided and counterproductive system that pushes children out of public schools and seriously increases the likelihood that they will end up in the juvenile and adult justice systems.

To improve public safety, Alabama must rethink its approach to criminal justice. Alabama has the fifth highest incarceration rate in the United States, yet also one of America’s highest crime rates. We must recognize that incarceration is a costly, inhumane, and often ineffective solution to making our communities safer.

Equal justice under law requires a justice system that provides a level playing field, regardless of one’s ability to pay. In order to achieve this, the state must ensure access to civil legal services, and protect the fundamental right to counsel in criminal court.

For many Alabamians, simple legal issues can spiral into dire situations because they cannot afford attorneys. Civil legal aid seeks to help low-income individuals and families address their legal issues before they get worse. Access to legal services protects families and communities and reduces the burden placed on the court system. Civil legal aid better ensures the we have justice for all, not just those who can afford it.

About Alabama Appleseed

Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to work to achieve justice and equity for all Alabamians. Alabama Appleseed is a member of the national Appleseed Network, which includes 18 Appleseed Centers across the U.S. and in Mexico City. Alabama Appleseed is also a member of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s Legal Impact Network, a collaborative of 36 advocacy organizations from across the country working with communities to end poverty and achieve racial justice at the federal, state, and local levels.

Our Approach to Advocacy

We recognize the interconnected nature of rights and develop and implement integrated culture and policy change campaigns that remedy the root causes of injustice. Our campaigns use policy analysis, research and documentation, public education, community organizing, pro bono engagement, coalition building, and litigation.

Recent Victories

  • Led effort (with the Southern Poverty Law Center) to remove the power of a judge to override a jury’s sentencing verdict in capital cases (judges had often imposed death sentences against the will of the jury).
  • Led effort to increase tax exemptions for personal property and homestead, permitting adjustment for inflation every three years.
  • Appointed to the Alabama Prison Reform Task Force, which developed sweeping reforms to reduce Alabama’s prison population and revise Alabama’s sentencing laws. Helped lead effort to pass many of the recommended reforms.
  • Led effort to pass the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, which provides greater protections to heir property owners.
  • Initiated model school breakfast in the classroom programs in 10 public schools aimed at significantly increasing student learning, behavior, and health in low-wealth communities.
  • Served as a party plaintiff in the successful federal court challenge to HB 56, Alabama’s unconstitutional anti-immigrant law.
  • Helped to secure $4.8 million in grants from BP Oil to fund legal representation of indigent claimants by legal services organizations in AL, FL, MS, and LA.

News and Media

Alabama’s Marijuana Laws are Costly to Enforce, Undermine Public Safety and Disproportionately Harm African Americans

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Marijuana prohibition costs the state and its municipalities an estimated $22 million a year, creates a dangerous backlog at the agency that tests forensic evidence in violent crimes, and needlessly ensnares thousands of people – disproportionately…

Pro Bono Month: Standing Up for Greater Access to Justice

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October marks Pro Bono Month, in which Alabama celebrates the difference made by pro bono lawyers throughout the state who serve our communities by providing free civil legal aid to those in need. These volunteer lawyers--along with lawyers…

New Report: Fines and Fees Hurt People, Drive Alabama’s Racial Wealth Divide, and Make Alabamians Less Safe

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A new report finds that many Alabamians report sacrificing food, medicine, and other basic necessities — and in some cases, resorting to crime — to pay down unnecessarily burdensome court costs, fines, and fees. More than eight in…

Alabama Appleseed Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Case Arguing the Eighth Amendment's Excessive Fines Clause Should Rein In Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuses

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On Tuesday, Alabama Appleseed joined a diverse set of twelve organizations asking the U.S. Supreme Court to find that the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause applies to the states. The case is Timbs v. Indiana. Mr. Timbs was arrested…

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About Us

Get Involved

We have many opportunities that you can assist us with by volunteering your time and talent. As a non-profit organization with a small staff, we welcome the involvement of others with us so that together we can make a difference.

Together we can create a better Alabama!

Contact Us

The Appleseed offices are located in historic Old Alabama Town section of downtown Montgomery.

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 4864
Montgomery, AL 36103-4864

Physical Address

309 N. Hull Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 263-0086
Fax: (334) 263-0270