One out of every six bills the State Legislature introduced in 2023 punish Alabamians and fuel our humanitarian prison crisis. Read the full report

We monitored 876 bills introduced in 2023. Here are three things we learned about your legislators.

  1. Legislators want harsher sentencing bills that continue overcrowding our prisons.
  2. Legislators more often pass bills that criminalize behavior rather than addressing the root cause.
  3. We’re spending more on incarcerating people year-over-year rather than releasing them.

The “Statehouse to Prison Pipeline,” a term we adopted from the ACLU of Ohio, is used to describe the policies that are proposed and/or enacted in Alabama’s legislature that address social problems exclusively through the criminal punishment system. In our third year of tracking pipeline bills in the legislature, we continue to witness a nearly unilateral commitment to increased surveillance, policing, criminalization, sentencing, and incarceration.

Our public schools are underfunded. Quality healthcare is unaffordable and inaccessible for most parts of the state. Public utilities and public transit are dilapidated or non-existent. And yet our tax dollars are being used to fund a billion-dollar prison. If we continue down the path of prioritizing punishment over people, Alabama’s communities will suffer.

The ACLU of Alabama and our partners are committed to fighting for positive and proactive legislation that will improve the material conditions of our state.