Heather Gann | 1/28/2022
If a bill in the Alabama Senate becomes law, Alabamians’ driver licenses would no longer be suspended because of unpaid traffic tickets.
Leah Nelson, research director for the Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, explained the impact this bill has on the labor shortage in Alabama. According to Appleseed, nearly 170,000 driver licenses in Alabama are suspended for debt-based reasons. That stops many from being eligible for open jobs or from simply driving to work.
John Archibald | 1/25/2022
Mike Jones, the chief of police in the small Alabama town of Brookside, resigned today in the wake of revelations by AL.com that he turned the department into an aggressive traffic trap that by 2020 received half its revenue from fines and forfeitures, many on minor offenses from those who drive by the town on Interstate 22.
Jones “is just a symptom of the problem,” she (Leah Nelson, Research Director) said. “As long as criminal justice policy and tax policy is intertwined, we’ll see versions of Brookside pop up. We need policy reform.”
1/19/2022| John Archibald
Ramon Perez came to court last month ready to fight the tickets he’d been handed by Brookside police, including one for rolling through a stop sign and another for driving 48 mph in a 40 zone.
He swore he’d seen the cop from a distance and was careful as he braked.
“Brookside is a poster child for policing for profit,” said Carla Crowder, the director of Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, a nonprofit devoted to justice and equity. “We are not safer because of it.”
1/19/2022 | Carla Crowder
The State of Alabama suddenly has a lot of money.
Federal funds are pouring into the state and lawmakers are figuring out right now how to spend this windfall. This is taxpayer money; we should pay attention.
The largest single expenditure of the Covid wealth is going to one place – punishment.
“You build more prisons, you fill them,” said Carla Crowder, executive director of Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a legal nonprofit. “Alabama is too poor to properly staff, manage and run a prison system of the size that’s been created by our laws. We just don’t have enough money to lock up everybody we want to lock up and follow the Constitution. The last 50 years of human rights failures and expensive litigation has only reinforced this fact.”
Eddie Burkhalter | 12/17/2021
Ron McKeithen and Trey Flowers hadn’t met before they got on a Zoom meeting together Wednesday, but the formerly incarcerated man and NFL player are connected in a way that few are.
Carla Crowder, Alabama Appleseed’s executive director, said during the interview that prior to receiving the first NFL grant in 2020 the nonprofit hadn’t been working directly with incarcerated clients. The funds made possible through that first grant and subsequent NFL grants helped Appleseed free McKeithen and the others, she said.