Entries by Carla Crowder

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A 71-year old man finally walks free, after marijuana sent him away

By Carla Crowder, Appleseed Executive Director Birmingham, Ala. — A little more justice slowly made its way into Alabama this week. Roberto Cruz, a 71-year-old man who had been sentenced to die in prison for a case involving marijuana – that’s right, only marijuana – was resentenced to time served and will soon be released […]

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Black Belt COVID-19 testing improves, but there is much more to do

By Akiesha Anderson, Appleseed Policy Director On March 30th, Alabama Appleseed sent a letter to Dr. Scott Harris—Director of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), and Brian Hastings—Director of the Alabama Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), urging their agencies to share with Appleseed and the general public their plans to ensure that COVID-19 testing […]

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“People are dying. They had us in there for tickets.”

By Leah Nelson, Appleseed Research Director MONTGOMERY, Ala. — When police pulled Reunca Lewis over near downtown Montgomery on April 17, the 23-year-old Montgomery resident was baffled. Lewis’s car had been stolen and then involved in a hit-and-run, and she had spent most of the day with police downtown, dealing with the aftermath. Now, the […]

Introducing Akiesha Anderson, Appleseed’s new policy director

My name is Akiesha Anderson and I am thrilled to join Appleseed! As Policy Director, my role will primarily focus on policy development, legislative advocacy, coalition building, engaging with public officials and assisting with legal projects. As a Montgomery-native, I grew up very aware of the existence of both past and present social inequality and […]

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Fines, Fees, and Financial Security in the US South

The following report is part of Appleseed’s collaboration with the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program and also appears on the Aspen Institute blog. For many individuals and households, a $200 traffic ticket can devastate savings and finances. The Federal Reserve’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households finds that 40% of Americans wouldn’t be able to pull […]

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In Alabama, prison diversion programs are funded by participants. And those payments are made at a terrible cost.

On Dec. 4, 2019, the Governor’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Reform convened at the Alabama Statehouse to hear proposals from the public on how to address Alabama’s prison crisis. Appleseed Research Director Leah Nelson was among the 20 presenters, including families of the incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, advocates, academics, lawyers, direct service providers, and faith […]

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Thank you, Appleseed Supporters, for Fighting for a Better Alabama in 2019

By Appleseed Executive Director Carla Crowder As I wrap up a whirlwind first year as executive director of Alabama Appleseed, I could not be more excited about the work we have done and the places we are heading. This has been a banner year for Appleseed. We have confronted laws and policies that harm vulnerable […]

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Incarcerating people as cheaply as possible created Alabama’s unconstitutional prisons. Let’s not make the same mistake again

By Carla Crowder, Executive Director A few weeks ago, a search dog working for Alabama’s Department of Corrections sadly died after exposure to contraband narcotics.  ADOC leadership, including Commissioner Jefferson Dunn, gathered for his funeral complete with 21-gun salute, an American flag presentation, and media coverage. His name was Jake.   Over the last two years, […]