To improve public safety, Alabama must rethink its approach to criminal justice. Alabama has one of the highest incarceration rates 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. Alabama must invest in evidence-based alternatives to prison and stop the drivers of incarceration. We are challenging the Governor’s plan to build 3 new mega prisons at a cost of $2.6 billion because this approach perpetuates past failures, does not address racial disparities, and swallows precious state resources that could be invested in mental health care, drug treatment, education, and re-entry services.
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.