Entries by Carla Crowder

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Fines, Fees, and Financial Security in the US South

The following report is part of Appleseed’s collaboration with the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program and also appears on the Aspen Institute blog. For many individuals and households, a $200 traffic ticket can devastate savings and finances. The Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households finds that 40% of Americans wouldn’t be able to pull […]

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In Alabama, prison diversion programs are funded by participants. And those payments are made at a terrible cost.

On Dec. 4, 2019, the Governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Reform convened at the Alabama Statehouse to hear proposals from the public on how to address Alabama’s prison crisis. Appleseed Research Director Leah Nelson was among the 20 presenters, including families of the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, advocates, academics, lawyers, direct service providers, and faith […]

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Thank you, Appleseed Supporters, for Fighting for a Better Alabama in 2019

By Appleseed Executive Director Carla Crowder As I wrap up a whirlwind first year as executive director of Alabama Appleseed, I could not be more excited about the work we have done and the places we are heading. This has been a banner year for Appleseed. We have confronted laws and policies that harm vulnerable […]

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Incarcerating people as cheaply as possible created Alabama’s unconstitutional prisons. Let’s not make the same mistake again

By Carla Crowder, Executive Director A few weeks ago, a search dog working for Alabama’s Department of Corrections sadly died after exposure to contraband narcotics.  ADOC leadership, including Commissioner Jefferson Dunn, gathered for his funeral complete with 21-gun salute, an American flag presentation, and media coverage. His name was Jake.   Over the last two years, […]

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Passage of SB30: Ensuring Greater Access to Justice for Low-Income Alabamians

By Phillip Ensler, Appleseed Policy Counsel In 2014, a little boy drowned in an apartment swimming pool with no fence.  His mother sued the owners but because of backlogs and barriers in the courts, she was denied. Alabama Appleseed has been fighting for a solution to this injustice, and this week the Alabama Legislature responded […]

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Incarcerated people learn from their mistakes. The government that locks them up has not.

By Carla Crowder,  Alabama Appleseed Executive Director Antonio was incarcerated at St. Clair prison a few years ago when another prisoner bit off part of his ear. They were housed in a dorm that supposedly offered rehabilitative services. For Antonio, permanent disfigurement was the outcome.   He did not seek revenge against the man who bit […]

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How a couple lost everything because of $50 worth of marijuana, a Lunesta pill, and an overzealous drug task force armed with the power to seize their assets

By Leah Nelson, Appleseed Researcher WOODLAND, Ala. (March 30, 2019) Teresa Almond is terrified. Though more than 13 months have passed since the day the Randolph County Drug Task Force upended her life with a flashbang grenade and a raid on her home, the 49-year-old grandmother still spends at least part of most days sitting […]

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What last week’s SCOTUS ruling on excessive fines and fees could mean for Alabama

Across Alabama, residents lose their jobs, housing, drivers’ licenses, and spend long stretches in jail because they cannot afford to pay court fines and fees. This week, a unanimous United States Supreme Court reminded states that this is not supposed to happen anywhere in America. The case, Timbs v. Indiana, concerns the questionable practice of civil […]