criminal justice reform

Orange text superimposed on a blue background describing the challenges awaiting people after they complete criminal sentences. The hashtag TimeDone is at the bottom right. The silhouette of a person and a chair can be seen in front of the picture at the left.

High fees, long waits cast shadow over new criminal expungement laws

BY: - November 28, 2023

This story was originally published on Stateline. More states are making it easier for residents to clear or seal their criminal records. The effort has drawn bipartisan support, as lawmakers across the political spectrum say it will help people find jobs and housing, in turn boosting local economies and reducing reliance on social services. “Folks […]

A door sign saying, in red ink on a white wood surface, "933. Ring bell for bail bonds."

Cash bail policies are under fresh scrutiny

BY: - November 13, 2023

This story was originally published by Stateline. States can’t figure out what to do about cash bail. The system — in which an arrested suspect pays cash to avoid sitting in jail until their court date and gets the money back when they appear — is deeply entrenched in the nation’s history as a way […]

Lawmaker presents legislation

Alabama Legislature approves bill increasing penalties for involvement in ‘criminal enterprises’

BY: - June 1, 2023

The Alabama House Thursday passed a bill creating harsher criminal penalties for involvement in “criminal enterprises.”  SB 143, sponsored by Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road, passed on a 95-6 vote. The Senate concurred in the bill Thursday afternoon, sending the bill to Gov. Kay Ivey. Rep. Allen Treadaway, R-Morris, who carried the bill in the House, […]

A woman speaking with her head turned to the left.

Alabama House approves bill allowing juvenile detention facilities to define contraband

BY: - May 18, 2023

The Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would allow detention facilities to develop their own definitions of contraband and punish juveniles for contraband possession as adults.   SB 120, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, passed 98-3. The bill was amended and goes back to the Senate for concurrence or a conference committee. […]

Cars and trucks move along the Cross Bronx Expressway, a notorious stretch of highway in New York City.

Alabama House passes bill restricting suspension of driver’s licenses

BY: - May 17, 2023

The Alabama House of Representatives Tuesday approved a bill that would limit judges’ abilities to suspend driver’s licenses for missing court dates or failing to pay fines. SB 154, sponsored by Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road and Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, passed 87-14 vote. It goes back to the Senate for consideration of House changes. […]

The round dome of the Alabama State Capitol features a clock with a black face and white hands and numbers. The dome is topped with the flags of the United States and Alabama.

Alabama Senate committee approves bill restricting courts’ ability to revoke driver’s licenses

BY: - April 12, 2023

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved a bill allowing people to retain their driver’s licenses even after missing a court date or failing to pay their fines. SB 154, sponsored by Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road and Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, passed the committee on a 13-0 vote. It heads to the full Senate […]

House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, presents the Alabama House Democratic Caucus agenda for the 2023 legislative session on March 6 at the Alabama State House. (Alander Rocha/Alabama Reflector)

Alabama House Democrats’ 2023 agenda focuses on economic growth

BY: - March 6, 2023

Alabama House Democrats said Monday they would push for bills on education, health care and criminal justice in the coming session.   But the legislative agenda, titled “Plan for Prosperity,” focused on economic growth. And the House Democrats kept it as a backdrop as each representative advocated for various issues, such as education, healthcare, and criminal […]

A man dressed in an orange sweatshirt sits in a recliner, looking out the window.

A law was meant to free sick or aging inmates. Instead, some are left to die in prison

BY: - February 24, 2023

Jimmy Dee Stout was serving time on drug charges when he got grim news early last year. Doctors told Stout, now 62, the sharp pain and congestion in his chest were caused by stage 4 lung cancer, a terminal condition. “I’m holding on, but I would like to die at home,” he told the courts […]

A handcuffed pair of hands poking through a set of prison bars.

Advocates look to revive Alabama criminal justice reform bills

BY: - February 7, 2023

Advocates for criminal justice reform plan to petition lawmakers to pass several bills, including new legislation and bills that failed last year. Alabama Appleseed, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Arise expect to focus on reforms to driver’s license suspensions, parole grants and the state’s Habitual Offender Act. “I think with each session there […]