Body of the review
The Public Service Office within University Outreach received $60,000 from the Financial Health Network’s Financial Solutions Lab to conduct a system mapping and pilot program to secure government-issued identification for incarcerated and juvenile internees pursuant to Alabama Law 2021-549. The project is led by Hollie Cost, assistant vice president of the Office of Public Service and University Outreach and graduate student in the Masters of Public Administration and Masters of Community Planning, Tori Ho.
Prior to the start of system mapping and the pilot project, project leaders studied all 50 states and their current processes for obtaining government-issued identification for incarcerated persons. Working with the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, project leaders convened key stakeholders and state agencies, including the Alabama Department of Corrections, or ADOC, the enforcement agency of Alabama Law, or ALEA, Alabama Department of Youth Services, or ADYS, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. the county jail, or SCSO, and the Alabama Department of Public Health, or ADPH, vital statistics to map the current process for obtaining government-issued identifications. During each meeting, state agencies shared their views on their current roles in the process. Additionally, formerly incarcerated individuals and community service providers shared their experiences and the challenges they faced in obtaining government-issued ID cards. The views and feedback shared were used to create an improved pathway to secure government-issued IDs for individuals upon release. The track will be implemented during the pilot program from April 5th.
During the pilot, agencies will obtain the minimum required documentation necessary for each participating individual to obtain an Alabama State Non-Driver Identification. ADOC, ADYS and SCSO have each identified 10 people to participate in the pilot project. At the end of the pilot, participants will have received a certified copy of birth certificate, a replacement Social Security Number card, and a national non-driver ID. These identification documents eliminate existing barriers, resulting in equitable access to public services, job applications, housing applications, banking institutions and financial resources.
Once the project is completed, the results of this pilot project will be shared nationally for replication, as appropriate.