Current Campaigns

Fair Schools, Safe Communities

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.

Access to Justice

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.

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.
  • 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

Governor Kay Ivey’s Memos Do Not Yet Prevent Alabama Sheriffs From Pocketing Jail Food Funds

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In two memos sent yesterday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced that sheriffs may no longer personally profit from a very small portion of jail food funds: those state funds allocated for services in preparing and serving food to people in…

Civil Legal Aid Funding is Not an Expense, it’s an Investment

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by Phil Ensler, Policy Counsel  Victims of domestic violence, tenants facing eviction, and veterans seeking their benefits are among the thousands of low-income Alabamians who receive free legal assistance from civil legal aid attorneys…

“How is this not illegal?”

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by Leah Nelson, researcher and Dana Sweeney, organizer Payday industry supporters have often claimed that “neither the general public nor the so called ‘poor’ [are] clamoring” for payday lending reform in Alabama. Actual borrowers…

Criminal Justice Reform? We’re Making Progress

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by Frank Knaack, Executive Director If you had asked your legislator last year about their stance on civil asset forfeiture, jail food, or marijuana reclassification you would likely have heard confusion about the first two and opposition…

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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