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Blog

You’re invited to Arise’s Town Hall Tuesdays!

Arise’s statewide online summer listening sessions are a chance to hear what’s happening on key state policy issues and share your vision for our 2021 policy agenda. Register now to help identify emerging issues and inform our work to build a better Alabama. We'd love to see you at any or all of these sessions! [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion
Date
June 15, 2020
Author
Presdelane Harris
Letters & Testimony

Alabama should use federal COVID-19 relief funds to heal and protect communities, Arise and partners write

To members of the Alabama Legislature, Alabama is struggling. Even after Governor Ivey issued an emergency stay-at-home order, the average number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise. And despite those climbing case numbers, Alabama is moving forward with reopening its economy. To accomplish a successful recovery, residents must have confidence that it is safe [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Coronavirus
Date
June 9, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama must tear down the legacies of slavery and segregation

The monument stood in Birmingham for decades as a twisted tribute to Alabama’s original sins: slavery and white supremacy. It “honored” a violent rebellion that sought to protect the enslavement of human beings. During segregation and Jim Crow and civil rights protests and into the 21st century, it served as a daily 52-foot-tall reminder of [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Public Transportation, Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion
Date
June 3, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Targeted releases should be part of Alabama corrections system’s response to COVID-19 pandemic

State and local governments are responding in a variety of ways to the emergent coronavirus pandemic in Alabama. But that response thus far has fallen short where incarcerated people are concerned. The Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) has more than 27,500 people in custody right now. (For context, that’s more people than live in Anniston, [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health, Coronavirus
Date
March 24, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 6, 2020

Arise's Jim Carnes discusses how the coronavirus outbreak and the closure of Pickens County Medical Center showcase Alabama's need for Medicaid expansion. Also, in the wake of the recent execution of Nathaniel Woods, Jim talks about HB 359, which would forbid the death penalty in capital cases where the jury does not agree unanimously to [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 6, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

How Alabama can reform its criminal justice system to work for everyone

Alabamians deserve a justice system that sentences fairly, provides helpful rehabilitative services and keeps people safe during incarceration. But Alabama often falls catastrophically short of fulfilling those obligations. Our state’s prisons are violent and poorly staffed. As a result, they often function as little more than warehouses to keep people locked up until their sentences [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health
Date
February 4, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise 2020: Our vision for a better Alabama

Alabama Arise members have worked for more than three decades to build a brighter, more inclusive future for our state. And as the Legislature’s 2020 regular session starts Tuesday, we’re proud to renew that commitment. Below, Arise executive director Robyn Hyden highlights some key goals for the session, including Medicaid expansion and untaxing groceries. How [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 4, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

The new poll tax: Court debt and voting rights in Alabama

Everyone should be able to have a voice in governmental decisions that affect their daily lives. Voting is the most straightforward way Alabamians have to shape those decisions. But our state has a long, sad legacy of voter suppression tactics. As a result, Alabama today has more disenfranchised citizens than California, a state with eight [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Voting Rights
Date
January 15, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise 2020: Stop criminal justice debt from putting thousands of lives on hold

Criminal justice debt shouldn’t prevent a person from building a stable, secure life. But Alabama imposes millions of dollars in fines every year without considering a person’s ability to pay them. The state also conditions many rights and privileges, often including voting rights restoration, on whether a person has repaid fines. Further, despite a prohibition [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 10, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Criminal justice debt: A modern-day debtors’ prison

By Carol Gundlach and Dev Wakeley, policy analysts It is unconstitutional to jail a person in the United States just because he or she owes money. But Alabama has no process for courts to determine if a defendant can afford to pay fees and fines. And despite a prohibition on “debtors’ prisons,” thousands of Alabamians [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 10, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach