Eddie Burkhalter | 7/22/2021
Champ Napier is the exception.
An Alabama nonprofit that advocates for the incarcerated and recently released has asked the federal government to allow federal COVID-19 aid to be used to aid their reentry, invest in drug courts and diversion programs and relieve court-imposed fines and fees.
“We know 7,000 to 8,000 people leave the prison system each year and return to communities and neighborhoods across the state,” said Carla Crowder, Alabama Appleseed’s executive director.
Something just short of miraculous is happening in Alabama’s prisons. The number of incarcerated young people has been cut in half since 2005. Buried within statistical reports on the Alabama Department of Corrections, the numbers are clear: In 2005, prisons housed 9,827 people ages 15 to 30, or 36% of the ADOC population. By March 2021, that number was 4,537, or 18%. That this decline has impacted people ages 15 to 30, by all counts the age groups most likely to be arrested, is jaw-dropping.
These dramatic declines are largely the result of the Alabama Legislature passing significant sentencing reforms in 2006, 2013, and 2015. The new laws are working. Fewer young people are sent to prison, sentences are shorter, the Habitual Felony Offender Act is used less.
Eddie Burkhalter | 6/30/2021
A Montgomery nonprofit that works to address systemic inequalities in the state’s criminal justice system is highlighted in a new NFL commercial. Carla Crowder, Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice’s executive director, is featured in the spot, which begins airing this week. Alabama Appleseed in May was once again awarded a grant from the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.
“We engage in litigation and public policy campaigns to confront the bad laws that have driven high incarceration rates in this state,” Crowder says in the segment.