The Appleseed Network Criminal Justice Working Group is currently focused on exploring alternatives to policing that put mental health experts and crisis workers front and center, examining electronic monitoring systems that allow incarceration to expand beyond the prison system, and ending modern “debtor’s prisons” by which those of lower incomes are thrown in prison or jail for inability to pay fees or fines.
Collaboratively, the working group is working to evaluate the current state of first response programs and examine alternative programs that incorporate mental health professionals and other crisis responders in order to save money that can be reinvested in communities.
Use the drop down menu below to view select reports and accomplishments from Appleseed justice centers:
Chicago Appleseed, as part of the Coalition to End Money Bond, to successfully advocate for Illinois to become the first state to end cash bond. The Pretrial Fairness Act is part of a larger criminal justice omnibus bill (HB 3653) that includes many reforms that Chicago Appleseed has been fighting for, including a provision that would modify the collective bargaining agreements of police unions; a civil right of action for individuals against officers for rights violations and use of force; a guaranteed phone call for detainees within one hour; and a ban on driver’s license suspensions for unpaid parking and red light tickets. For a complete library of Chicago Appleseed publications, posts, and press, see here.
After finding that women in Missouri prisons did not have adequate access to hygiene products and, too often, were forced to use unsanitary homemade products, Missouri Appleseed successfully advocated to improve access to menstrual products in prisons. They are currently working to expand research on menstrual products for incarcerated women into Missouri’s jails. For more on Missouri Appleseed's ongoing projects, see here. 2021 COVID-19 in Missouri Prisons and Jails