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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
Blog

Arise 2020: End the injustices in Alabama’s death penalty system

All Alabamians deserve equal justice under the law. But bias and inequality persist in Alabama’s capital punishment system, despite recent reforms. Even though the state finally outlawed judicial override in 2017, the ban did not apply retroactively. That means dozens of people who were sentenced to death despite a jury’s sentencing recommendation of life without [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 9, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Injustices remain in Alabama’s death penalty practices

Alabama took an important step toward death penalty reform in 2017, but numerous problems remain. That year, the state finally outlawed judicial override in capital cases. That change means judges no longer can impose the death penalty when a jury recommends life without parole. But the ban was not retroactive, and 35 people who were [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 9, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Why Medicaid expansion is a must for prison reform in Alabama

Against a backdrop of human tragedy, Gov. Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy is working toward a January deadline for its recommendations to the Legislature. The U.S. Department of Justice in April issued a sobering overview of the Alabama corrections system’s numerous shortcomings. And the Montgomery Advertiser shed further light on the situation [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health
Date
November 26, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Criminal justice study group offers Alabama a chance to set the right course toward reform

Alabama needs a criminal justice system that values the lives and well-being of everyone involved. Our state should treat people fairly, apply punishment humanely and focus on restoring offenders to productive roles in society. Alabama Arise is closely monitoring the Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy that Gov. Kay Ivey appointed in July. Former Alabama [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health
Date
September 12, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
News Releases

Alabama Arise members vow to renew ‘untax groceries’ push in 2020

Ending the state sales tax on groceries is one of the top goals on Alabama Arise’s 2020 legislative agenda. Nearly 200 Arise members picked the organization’s issue priorities at its annual meeting Saturday in Montgomery. The seven issues chosen were: Tax reform, including untaxing groceries and ending the state’s upside-down deduction for federal income taxes, [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Tax Reform, Voting Rights
Date
September 9, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Learn more about Arise’s 2020 issue proposals

Grassroots democracy will be on display when Alabama Arise members choose our 2020 issue priorities at our annual meeting Sept. 7 in Montgomery. The following proposals will be up for a vote for our 2020 legislative agenda. Housing Trust Fund revenue Voting rights Criminal justice debt reform Death penalty reform Payday and title lending reform [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights
Date
August 16, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: June 14, 2019

Now that the Alabama Legislature's 2019 regular session has come to a close, we've turned our focus to the expected special session on the state's prison crisis later this year. In our latest video, Arise's Jim Carnes explains how Medicaid expansion is an essential component of fixing the state's prison crisis and increasing economic opportunity [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
Date
June 14, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus