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Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice;
Alabama established a sentencing commission in 2000, and has utilized advisory sentencing standards in felonycases since 2006. In 2013, the Alabama Sentencing Standards grew to include presumptive standards for non-violent offenses. Alabama has a "truth in sentencing" statute that does not take effect until 2020 and will require the court to pronounce a minimum term and an extended term (120% of the minimum term) and mandates post-release supervision. Currently, however, offenders are sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment and may be released on parole, if eligible.
Alabama's future competitiveness depends on the participation and inclusion of all of our residents,especially those who are locked out of the economy. Employment equity—when everyone who wants to work has a good job that pays family-supporting wages—is the path forward. By addressing lingering societal barriers such as adequate funding for public transit that connects residents to quality jobs, and linking more Alabamians to career pathways in growing industries, we can reduce economic insecurity, meet employers' needs for talent, and bolster economic growth, building a prosperous Alabama for all.
This report, Advancing Employment Equity in Alabama, offers a framework to guide policymakers as they consider how to best connect residents to good jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and remove the barriers that have held back far too many for far too long. The Alabama Asset Building Coalition is prepared to be a partner in this effort and further our mission of building an economic foundation that allows underserved Alabamians to reach their highest potential and secure their financial future.
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky;
Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots is an innovative research initiative sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and administered by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. This multi-part health research project will, in successive reports: measure population health and document disparities in health outcomes in the Appalachian Region compared to the United States as a whole, as well as disparities within the Appalachian Region; identify "Bright Spots," or communities that exhibit better-than-expected health outcomes given their resources; and explore a sample of the Bright Spot communities through in-depth, field-based case studies. Taken together, these reports will provide a basis for understanding and addressing health issues in the Appalachian Region. This research initiative aims to identify factors that support a Culture of Health in Appalachian communities and explore replicable activities, programs, or policies that encourage better-than-expected health outcomes that could translate into actions that other communities can replicate.
This first report, Health Disparities in Appalachia, measures population health in Appalachia and documents disparities between the Region and the nation as a whole, as well as disparities within the Appalachian Region.
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild;
Just days after winning election, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he intends to round up and deport up to 3 million immigrants.
Such a plan, if carried out immediately, would require a massive – and costly – expansion of America's prison and detention infrastructure at a time when politicians and policymakers across the ideological spectrum are working to reduce the nation's prison population, the world's largest.
And it would likely be a major boost to the fortunes of private prison companies that profit from incarceration – even though most studies show that privately operated prisons are generally more dangerous, less effective and no less expensive than government-run facilities.
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to add 10,000 beds to its immigrant detention system, increasing the capacity to 45,000 immigrants per day. But, as a result of Trump's proposed deportation plan, the DHS could need many thousands more. Unsurprisingly, private prison stocks have soared since Trump's election.
An expansion of the immigrant detention system threatens to greatly exacerbate the mass incarceration crisis in America. And it would violate our nation's basic values and cement our reputation as a country intolerant of immigrants.
The findings of this study demonstrate that the immigrant detention system is already rife with civil rights violations and poor conditions that call into question the DHS's commitment to the due process rights and safety of detainees. Many of these detainees have lived here for years; others recently fled violence in their home countries to seek refuge in the United States.
This report is the result of a seven-month investigation of six detention centers in the South, a region where tens of thousands of people are locked up for months, sometimes even years, as they await hearings or deportation.
The South is a leader in immigration detention, holding one out of every six detainees in the United States. A closer look makes it clear why it holds this distinction.
Detained immigrants in the South are frequently denied the opportunity of a bond hearing that would free them until their cases are adjudicated.
The region's immigration courts, which are often inaccessible to the public, are hostile to immigrants not fortunate enough to have an attorney. And so they wait behind bars in remote Southern facilities virtually indistinguishable from prisons. Many of the facilities are former jails or prisons that were shut down after civil rights investigations and lawsuits revealed poor conditions and abuse.
Now, it's the detainees who face abusive and dangerous conditions at these facilities, which fail to meet basic legal and regulatory standards. And it's the detainees who often find there is little hope for release as their due process rights are denied.
The investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the Adelante Alabama Worker Center focuses on detention centers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. Three are operated by private companies and three by county sheriffs. All are paid by the DHS on a per diem basis.
The report is based on tours of each facility and more than 300 in-person interviews with detainees. They represent more than 5 percent of the average daily population of the detention centers studied. From facility to facility, their stories are remarkably similar accounts of abuse, neglect and rights denied – symptoms of an immigrant detention system where the failures of the nation's immigration system intersect with the failures of its prison system.
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute;
Why is there so much difference in the health of residents in one county compared to other counties in the same state? In this report, the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program explores how wide gaps are throughout Alabama and what is driving those differences. This information can help Alabama state leaders as they identify ways for everyone to have a fair chance to lead the healthiest life possible. Specifically, this document can help state leaders understand: 1. What health gaps are and why they matter 2. The size and nature of the health gaps among counties within Alabama 3. What factors are influencing the health of residents, and 4. What state and local communities can do to address health gaps
New York Women's Foundation;
This report aims to shed light on the most significant and persistent barriers to success, opportunity, and economic security for lower-income women and families in the rural South. It also provides an in-depth analysis of the economic security, health, and overall wellbeing of women living in nine counties across the rural South in the states of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.
Using the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, various city and regional agencies, and other relevant sources, the report focuses on six main issue areas that shape the lives of women and families, including poverty, income and employment; education and health; and public infrastructure and housing. The report focuses on nine counties in three states that are persistently poor as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These are counties where 20 percent or more of the population have lived in poverty for five consecutive census years.
This report is part of a series of 21 state and regional studies examining the rollout of the ACA. The national network -- with 36 states and 61 researchers -- is led by the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public policy research arm of the State University of New York, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.
More than 670,000 Alabamians under age sixty-five, or about 16 percent of the population, are uninsured. Most uninsured Alabamians are in working families (77 percent) where at least one person is employed either full time or part time. The largest total number and percentage of uninsured is aged nineteen to thirty and the uninsured are disproportionately people of color, although whites make up the majority of the uninsured population. The state insurance market is dominated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBSAL). In 2010, it had a 91 percent market share in the individual market with some 121,000 covered lives.
Wallace Center at Winrock International;
The demand for local food has been on the rise nationally, but the agricultural system of the Deep South region has left many farmers at a strategic disadvantage in terms of access to resources, information, financial investments, and markets. In Mississippi and Alabama, many farmers earn $10,000 or less annually in farm sales, while 12-14% of the population remains food insecure, and unemployment rates range from 7-10%. These communities have some of the highest rates (and in Mississippi, the highest rates) of obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases in the United States.
Between 2011 and 2014 the Wallace Center provided grants and technical assistance to the Deep South through its Increasing Farmer Success in Local Food Markets in the Deep South: Mississippi & Alabama project. This work is designed to strengthen the capacities of limited resource and historically disadvantaged farmers and farmer groups to meet the fresh produce supply needs of local/regional wholesale and institutional markets, institutions, and foodservice buyers; and facilitate farmers' success in accessing new markets by developing supply chain relationships. The project focuses on addressing barriers that these farmers face including access to information about production, aggregation, distribution, food safety, among other issues.
This handbook is intended to serve as a resource guide for farmers, aggregators, and distributors of sustainable food to build or strengthen a values-based food supply chain for their products in the Deep South. To that end, it is a compilation of resources and tools related to farmer training; farm operations; financial management and business planning; market access; and business planning with a focus on Mississippi and Alabama. Anyone involved in local food production or sourcing is encouraged to utilize this handbook, and to share it with others that may also find it useful. Through this and other technical assistance efforts, the Wallace Center seeks to build capacity for sustainable food systems and healthy communities to thrive in the DeepSouth.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
This report presents findings from an impact evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Maximizing Enrollment grant program on the enrollment of children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Implemented from early 2009 through early 2013, the program funded eight states seeking to maximize the coverage of uninsured children who were eligible for these two major public insurance programs. The eight states included: Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
American Mental Health Counselors Association;
This comprehensive study shows that 6.7 million uninsured people with a mental illness are currently eligible for coverage under the Medicaid Expansion that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. But the majority of these individuals with mental health conditions will be left out in the coverage cold due to their state's antagonism toward the Medicaid Expansion health insurance initiative.