MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The first ever “Alabama Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline” report, issued today by the ACLU of Alabama, reveals that 13.89% of all House bills and 6.67% of all Senate bills introduced by Alabama legislators during the 2021 Legislative Session created new crimes, enhanced existing sentences, or expanded current criminal laws.
“The problems in Alabama’s prisons begins at the Statehouse,” said Dillon Nettles, director of policy and advocacy at the ACLU of Alabama. “This report is designed to highlight the role and responsibility of the Alabama Legislature in maintaining and fueling our state’s ongoing, unconstitutionally crowded prison system. Many of these so-called ‘pipeline bills’ may seem innocuous, but the result is a relentless, haphazard escalation of laws that send more people to prison for longer. We simply cannot arrest, convict, and incarcerate our way out of dealing with problems in our state.”
In the report, the ACLU of Alabama urges legislative leaders to address the root causes of crime and incarceration, provide pathways for people to make a successful re-entry into society, and stop introducing legislation that creates new penalties or enhances penalties.
A briefing of the report will be held on Monday, August 23 at 6:00pm. Speakers will include Director of Policy and Advocacy Dillon Nettles and Investigative Reporter Beth Shelburne, along with other ACLU of Alabama staff, as they lead a conversation about the ways we must confront mass incarceration and the expanding carceral state together. RSVP at https://action.aclu.org/webform/al-statehouse-to-prison-pipeline-2021.
To view the full report online, go to https://www.alabamasmartjustice.org/reports/2021-statehouse-to-prison-pipeline.