News & Press Releases
Appleseed Releases Guide to Help Lawyers Navigate Immigration Courts
Feb. 14, 2017
For immediate release – a new guide for pro bono attorneys (new and experienced) who represent immigrants, both children and adults, in the U.S. immigration court system. GA Appleseed’s sister centers (Chicago Appleseed, SC Appleseed and TX Appleseed) joined with national Appleseed pro bono attorneys to research and prepare this helpful guide. We hope you find this a useful tool to meet due process obligations in our immigration courts, whether around the nation or right here in Atlanta. For the additional resources and media contacts, please click here.
Inherited Property Puts Vulnerable Georgia Communities at Risk
Jan. 20, 2017
Radio show about Heirs Property in Porterdale, GA that interviewed Delene Porter, the Chief Operating Officer at the Georgia Heirs Property Law Center. It explains Heirs Property and gives a voice to the work GHPLC does.
The Atlanta Lawyer
Dec 2016/Jan 2017
An excerpt from the publication that reviews the second annual Grants Celebration Luncheon that was held on December 15, 2016. As one of the pro bono organizations that received funding from the Atlanta Bar Foundation and Lawyer Referral and Information Services grants program, Georgia Appleseed attended to "share in fellowship."
DLA Piper's Pro Bono Bulletin
An excerpt from the bulletin that highlights the work of the Appleseed network across the country, as well as Georgia Appleseed and our board member, Brian Gordon.
Family Focused: Opposite of 'Scared Straight,' Intervention Helps Youth Connect and Feel Understood
Nov. 9, 2016
Youth Today- by Patricia Etheridge
A discussion on Functional Family Therapy to help youth stay out of prison. Georgia Appleseed Executive Director, Sharon Hill, is quoted.
Clarke County schools turn to legal nonprofit for helping rewriting conduct code
Oct. 25, 2016
Georgia Appleseed has partnered with Clarke County schools to rewrite their code of conduct.
40 under 40
Georgia Trend October 2016 Edition
This year, Georgia Trend Magazine announced Teddy Reese, Georgia Appleseed's Director of Community Operations & Affairs, as one of their 40 under 40.
40 under 40
Rural Leader Magazine September 2016 Edition
This year, Rural Leader Magazine announced Teddy Reese, Georgia Appleseed's Director of Community Operations & Affairs, as the top winner in their 40 under 40.
5 under 40
Macon Magazine August/September 2016 Edition
Every year, since 2001, Macon Magazine highlights five people who "are moving Macon forward." This year, Veronica McClendon, Staff Attorney with Georgia Heirs Property Law Center was one of the five.
Murky property titles dash home ownership dreams on Atlanta's west side
Aug. 3, 2016
AJC- by Willoughby Mariano
Heirs property struggles are particularly prevalent in Atlanta's west side. Georgia Appleseed, through the Georgia Heirs Property Law Center is one of several organizations making sure the residents can continue to call the house they've been living in home.
Georgia Appleseed: A Voice for Justice and Positive Change
National Bar Association, by Laverne Lewis Gaskins
Georgia Appleseed's progress with the Race, Law Enforcement, and the Law project.
Kids Matter: Child Protection and Advocacy Law Section, Spring 2016
The State Bar of Georgia's Child Protection and Advocacy Committee's quarterly newsletter. It discusses Georgia Appleseed's CLE training (page 1) and the Ronnie S. Jenkins School Dropout to Prison Prevention Town Hall Summitt, held on March 3, 2016, which included Georgia Appleseed's Rob Rhodes and Teddy Reese as presenters (page 8).
Advocating for a Student in Foster Care
Atlanta Lawyer- Written by Eric Fisher, one of our Young Professional Council Members. Includes his experiences representing Foster Youth and the impact Georgia Appleseed has had.
Understanding Heirs' Property in the Southeast
A clear, easy to understand description of what heirs property is, the problems faced with it, and Georgia Appleseed's involvement.
Daily Report- Good Apple Awards 2016 Coverage
Daily Report published the article on April 22, 2016, including pictures from the 2016 Good Apple Awards.
Georgia Appleseed report on law enforcement-community relations and policies
January 2016 Press Release
Georgia Appleseed has done a comprehensive assessment of relations between Georgia law enforcement and their communities over a ten-month period in 2015. In the assessment, Georgia Appleseed interviewed 140 law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, defense lawyers, neighborhood associations and faith, political and nonprofit leaders across the state in interviews and meetings. Read the full press release...
Despite the improving economy, Georgia’s executive and legislative leadership are struggling to find adequate public revenues to support vitally needed improvements to our public education system, to pay for critical transportation infrastructure, and to address the large number of social ills that plague our state such as homelessness, overcrowded prisons, and the juvenile school to prison pipeline. Social Impact Bonds (“SIBs”) may offer a way that private investment can be harnessed to help meet these challenges. Read the full press release...
This newsletter focuses on the collaborative effort among Georgia Appleseed, McIntosh SEED, Ben Hill County and USDA- Rural Development Georgia on the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) project. This newsletter, posted on the U.S. Department of Agriculture StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity webpage, highlights the strides Georgia Appleseed and its pro bono partners have made in developing agribusiness and resolving heirs property cases across rural Georgia. Read the Full Article...
PBIS Framework Will Support Success
February 2, 2015
Bibb County School District
Alongside the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and nonprofit Georgia Appleseed, the District is rolling out a research-based frame-work known as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in both middle and high schools. Read the Full Article...
Bibb County School System Implements PBIS For Discipline
January 16, 2015
The Bibb County School System is starting the New Year with a new outlook on student discipline. The school system is implementing the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports framework, also known as PBIS. School district officials said this framework will help reduce the number of disciplinary referrals and suspensions within the schools. Read the Full Article...
New discipline system coming to Bibb County schools
January 15, 2015
The (Macon) Telegraph
Thirteen schools across the Bibb County school system are rolling out a new program to try to curb the number of student disciplinary referrals and suspensions. It’s called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. The school board heard about it at Tuesday’s meeting. The new system is designed to use the schools’ discipline data to look at the big picture, then come up with solutions for preventing student suspensions where it can. Read the Full Article...
USDA grant opens door for small business development
September 24, 2014
The (Fitzgerald) Herald-Leader
U.S. Department of Agriculture Georgia Director Quinton Robinson knows where Ben Hill County is. He's been dealing with Community Development Director Cam Jordan for many years of successfully improving housing in Fitzgerald. Robinson was in town last Wednesday to participate in a check presentation ceremony for an $80,000 grant to Ben Hill County to help fund a new test program for agricultural businesses and farm owners. Read the Full Article...
Post-Disaster Law Practice: The ABA Model Court Rule
Georgia Bar Journal
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, large numbers of Gulf Coast residents fled to a number of neighboring states, including Georgia. A great many of these evacuees were indigent and in need of pro bono legal services. The storm also resulted in the displacement of lawyers whose offices were made inaccessible for extended periods of time by wind damage or flooding. Read the Full Article...
2014 Tribunal Project
The Young Professionals Council (YPC) of Georgia Appleseed is pleased to announce a new pilot project, in collaboration with Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) and the Georgia Office of the Child Advocate (OCA). Its purpose is to insure that attorneys are trained and available to represent children in foster care who are facing school disciplinary tribunal hearings. Read the Full Article...
New school discipline program finding success in Middle Georgia
May 3, 2014
The Macon Telegraph
Mary Persons High School suspended Quinntavais Chesney five times during his freshman year. “I used to get into a lot of trouble,” Chesney said, “being disrespectful to teachers, fighting, arguing, stuff like that.” He ran into major trouble late in his junior year and faced expulsion for bullying a female student. Read the Full Article...
Young Professionals Focus Group discusses ways to better the community
February 15, 2014
The Georgia Appleseed Young Professionals Focus Group held a meeting Wednesday Feb. 12. They discussed out of school suspension rates, school climates, and many other topics brought up by the attendees. "Education, as we've known for a while, it takes a village - not only to raise children but to educate children," said Teddy Reese. "And our school officials, they need help. Not necessarily from the professional aspect but from a community aspect." Read the Full Article...
Diversity forum seeks to end the cycle of poverty in Muscogee County
February 14, 2014
Ending poverty in the Muscogee County region begins with caring more for the people around you. That was one of the conclusions that came out of Thursday night's town hall meeting. The audience and expert panel had a lot to say. Read the Full Article...
Phase-in proposed for juvenile-attorney funding
February 7, 2014
Getting enough lawyers to prosecute and defend juveniles under sweeping reforms passed into law last year will require giving local governments flexibility, witnesses told a House subcommittee Thursday. The wide-ranging reform law sponsored by Gov. Nathan Deal and recommended by a panel of judges, prosecutors and child advocates took effect 37 days ago. It seeks to improve the rate of juvenile repeat offenses by transferring the responsibility for punishment and rehabilitation from the state to counties. Read the Full Article...
Juvenile Justice in Georgia
May 16, 2013
After seven years of work to reform the juvenile justice code, Georgia Appleseed celebrates Governor Nathan Deal's signing of HB 242, Georgia's new juvenile code. In 2006, Georgia Appleseed, The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic of Emory University's Law School, and Voices for Georgia's Children formed JUSTGeorgia, a statewide juvenile justice coalition. Read the Full Article...
Senate approves juvenile justice reforms
March 21, 2013
Rhonda Cook- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The 248-page bill to rewrite the entire Georgia juvenile code was adopted unanimously by the Senate. “This is a comprehensive rewrite of the juvenile code that’s been needed for a very long time,” said Sharon Hill, executive director at Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, which was among 100 advocacy groups pushing for the changes. “It’s been 42 years since we’ve had this type of rewrite. We are very, very happy.” Read the Full Article...
Clark: Reforming Georgia's juvenile justice system: It's time
February 24, 2013
Robin Frazer Clark- Savannah Now
The deadline is approaching that would allow HB242 (juvenile justice reform) to pass. "The JUSTGeorgia statewide juvenile justice coalition was formed for the purpose of promoting changes to the juvenile code and the underlying social service systems to better serve Georgia’s children and promote safer communities. Two core needs were identified: To incorporate the latest findings in the child and adolescent brain development field and to cause policy changes that can prevent detention and sustain healthy behavior outside the juvenile justice system."
Read the Full Article...
State reforms could give options to wayward teens
January 11, 2013
Rhonda Cook- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Round two starts for lawmakers to consider changes to Georgia's juvenile code.
"Sharon Hill, executive director of Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, which is a member of a coalition of about 60 groups pushing juvenile justice reform, praised the council’s recommendations. “They are specific and important. And I’m sure, if we are able to implement them, they will save tax dollars and increase public safety,” said Hill, a former juvenile judge. “There could be some opportunity for cost savings at the county level and still help the judges to be able to have options that make a difference for kids and their families and get them on right path.”" Read the Full Article...
Chandra Thomas Whitfield - Crisis
Mornings always began the same for Johnathan Hicks. He'd line up, remove his shoes, belt and money from his pockets then hand over his coat to get stored in the "contraband room." Then a security officer would wave a handheld metal detector across his body. His white shirt signaled that he was "a minimal risk" to others, while those around him who wore either blue or yellow shirts were considered more dangerous. Read the Full Article...
Costs push back juvenile justice reform
March 29, 2012
Rhonda Cook - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The time wasn't right for reforming the juvenile justice system this legislative session, but that wasn't evident to backers until the final days, when costs became an issue. After five years of work and assurances that reforming the juvenile justice system would save money and young lives that otherwise would be lost to the criminal justice system, the legislation didn't make it. Read the Full Article...
Heir property: Who owns it?
March 23, 2012
Tim Anderson - Fitzgerald Herald-Leader
"Heir property" is a term few people have heard. But if someone is an owner of a piece of real estate that belonged to an ancestor who died without a will, they are stranded without a clear title. Without a clear title, no bank will loan money to do improvements or advance funds for any purpose with the property as collateral. Read the Full Article...
Keeping juveniles out of lockup
March 13, 2012
Rhonda Cook - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
On any given day, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has about 2,000 kids in custody. Most are boys. Many are dangerous. And about 60 percent of them are making only their first steps into a life that will be spent in and out of police lockups and prisons; six out of every 10 who walk out of a juvenile custody facility will be back within three years. Read the Full Article...
Expert: Discipline disparity numbers should prompt discussion
March 9, 2012
Kerry Kavanaugh - WSB-TV Atlanta
A new report by the U.S. Department of Education revealed African-American and Hispanic students were disproportionately punished compared to their peers. Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh talked to one local expert who said the numbers should be a starting point for a conversation, not a conclusion. Read the Full Article...
School Suspensions Show Racial Imbalance
March 6, 2012
Orlando Montoya - GPB News
Officials with the US Department of Education released a report Tuesday questioning whether schools across the country are treating minority students equally when it comes to discipline. The report shows, African-Americans are more than three times as likely to be suspended or expelled than white students for similar offenses. Read the Full Article...
House passes overhaul of Ga. juvenile justice law
March 1, 2012
House lawmakers have approved a large overhaul of Georgia's juvenile justice system. Republican Rep. Wendell Willard of Sandy Springs said Wednesday that the goal was to move Georgia's code into conformity with federal standards and focus on treatment juvenile offenders in their communities, not incarcerating them. Read the Full Article...
Parent & Teen Summit in Houston County
January 14, 2012
Austin Lewis - WMAZ-TV Macon
Two Houston County groups organized a Parent & Teen Summit Saturday at First Baptist Church in Warner Robins. The local chapters of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and their brother fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, put together workshops to talk to parents and teens about the problems young adults face. Read the Full Article...
Keeping kids in class
September 25, 2011
Sharon N. Hill - Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
The late Art Linkletter (and then Bill Cosby) made us laugh by pointing out that “kids say the darnedest things.” Kids, being kids, are still saying (and doing) the darnedest things, especially in our public schools. But it is no laughing matter. Often these words and deeds result in the child being suspended from school and, perhaps, referred to juvenile court. Read the Full Article...
Georgia Schools Not Making the Grade With Discipline Practices, New Report Finds
July 7, 2011
Chandra R. Thomas - Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
The Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is pushing for some major changes in how discipline is doled out in Georgia's public schools. The recommendations come on the heels of the Atlanta-based non-profit organization's release last month of its final student discipline report titled Effective School Discipline: Keeping Kids in Class. Read the Full Article...
Are minority and poor kids disciplined more harshly in Georgia schools?
June 16, 2011
Maureen Downey - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
One of the most volatile topics on this blog is school discipline and whether there's too much of it, too little and whether it's applied equitably and sensibly. The Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice released a report Wednesday called "Effective Student Discipline: Keeping Kids in Class." Read the Full Article...
Georgia Out-Of-School Suspension Rate High
June 16, 2011
Maura Walz - Georgia Public Broadcasting
A new report says that the state's rate of out-of-school suspensions is one of the highest in the nation. Last school year, roughly 8 percent of Georgia students were suspended out of school at least once. And in some school districts, nearly one in five students receives out of school suspensions. Read the Full Article...
Appleseed Centers Spark Gains with Legislation to Improve Children's Lives
April 8, 2011
This week, New Mexico Appleseed celebrated a victory for low-income children in New Mexico after Gov. Susana Martinez signed the nation's first mandatory breakfast-in-the-classroom bill. The bill's passage means that any school in which 85 percent of the children are eligible for free-or-reduced meals would be required to serve breakfast after school starts. Read the Full Article...
The Child Protection and Public Safety Act Gains Commitment for Action in 2012
March 29, 2011
This week, the Child Protection and Public Safety Act (Children's Code Rewrite) received commitments from Governor Nathan Deal, as well as the Georgia House and Senate leadership, to ready the measure for a vote in 2012. Read the Full Article...
Can the new council plug the school to prison pipeline?
March 10, 2011
Laverne Lewis Gaskins & Sharon N. Hill, Georgia Appleseed - The Valdosta Daily Times
In a promising show of solidarity, the leadership of all three branches of Georgia's government recently joined together to endorse the creation of the 2011 Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform. Read the Full Article...
The release of Choice 15 and 16 of 20 Choices for Georgia's Future speaks to the consequences a cuts-only approach will have on the lives of youth offenders already in the juvenile justice system and the courts infrastructure. Read the Full Article...
Survey for Georgia Teens and Parents: Your Views On School Discipline
November 5, 2010
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
A new survey to gauge what parents and students think about public school discipline is being fielded right now by the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. The non profit group is analyzing student discipline issues across the state. Read the Full Article...
Legal and social experts push for family counseling over incarceration for juveniles
August 19, 2010
Carroll County Times-Georgian
Carroll County child advocates recently told a Georgia Senate subcommittee that when dealing with juvenile crimes known as “status offenses,” counseling for the entire family of the youth should be an alternative to locking the child up with more serious delinquents. Read the Full Article...
Maintaining School Safety & Opportunity
August 19, 2010
Ensuring educational opportunity for all students requires public schools to accomplish two goals at once: maintaining a safe learning environment while providing effective discipline for those children whose non-violent problem behaviors can be remedied at school. Read the Full Article...
August 14, 2010
Savannah Morning News
Georgia's juvenile law code should be overhauled to give state judges more options that get at the heart of bad behavior. Child advocates in Georgia are asking a valid question: Would an "unruly child"--found to have skipped school or imbibed alcohol or run away from home--be better helped by jail time or by services? Read the Full Article...
Children in Need of Services
August 10, 2010
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
Anyone passing by room 450 at Georgia’s capitol on Monday probably thought lawmakers were talking about facial parts. The Senate Judiciary Committee was actually discussing CHINS—the acronym for Children in Need of Services—an important concept in the rewrite of the state’s juvenile code. Read the Full Article...
BC classes to focus on legal issues
August 28, 2009
Bainbridge College students will have the opportunity during fall semester to learn from two women attorneys who work with the Georgia Appleseed project, an organization that annually recognizes distinguished pro bono leadership that exemplifies the organization's values and goals for its mission. Read the Full Article...
Georgia Appleseed's Heir Property Project
Crystal Chastain Baker, Georgia Appleseed - Georgia State Bar Real Property Law Section Newsletter
Heir property is a relatively unknown term in the Georgia legal community. When "heir property" is mentioned, people usually look up to the sky, wondering perhaps why a strong public-interest law center and notable campaigner for social justice like Georgia Appleseed is concerned with 'Air Property.' Well, the precise reason is because an entire group of Georgians who are disadvantaged and marginalized face the threat of great social and economic losses due partly to a lack of knowledge about the issue of Heir Property. Read the Full Article...
Heir Property Project
Crystal Chastain Baker, Georgia Appleseed - Georgia State Bar Real Property Law Section Newsletter
All real estate attorneys have seen those properties- the ones with titles that seem impossible to clear, with dozens of unknowns and generations of families spread throughout the country. As practitioners, most of us call our title insurance companies with bated breath hoping for answers other than the ones we suspect are inevitable in these situations. Read the Full Article...
Guest Column - Juvenile Code Re-Write:It's About Time
Voices for Georgia's Children
Just prior to adjournment of the Georgia General Assembly's 2009 session, I introduced SB 292 - the Child Protection and Public Safety Act - a bill intended to help the state revise its Juvenile Code. This is an important piece of legislation designed to improve the manner in which our courts interact with children. Read the Full Article...
GUEST COLUMN: Time to tell truth about schools
May 25, 2009
Cathy Henson - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Richard Anderson, the chief executive of Delta Air Lines, recently was quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explaining why many of the Northwest Airlines employees relocating to Georgia from Minnesota will look for private schools for their children. Read the Full Article...
Georgia Appleseed Tackles Heir Property
May 14, 2009 - National Appleseed
As part of its ongoing Heir Property Project, Georgia Appleseed recently hosted a daylong workshop in Liberty Country, GA, a rural county along the coast, to educate landowners on how to secure - and protect - clear title to inherited property. Read the Full Article...
Georgia Appleseed Announces Good Apple Award Honorees
March 2009 - Georgia Appleseed
Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice proudly announces its inaugural Good Apple Award recipients are Teri P. McClure, UPS Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and Frank S. Alexander, Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. The Awards will be presented at a dinner on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at the Park Tavern Garden Tent at Piedmont Park beginning at 6:30 P.M.. Read the Full Article...
Senator Hamrick to introduce Child Protection & Public Safety Act
April 2, 2009
State Senator Bill Hamrick (R-Carrollton) today initiated a sweeping revision of the state's Juvenile Code by introducing a 228-page bill designed to modernize and streamline the 38-year-old crazy quilt of laws that govern the way the state dals with children who are pulled into the state's civil and criminal justice system. Read the Full Article...
Juvenile code revision proposed; some hope for legislative revision this session
January 18, 2009
John Bailey - Rome News-Tribune
Almost everyone agrees that Georgia’s juvenile justice system needs to be revamped, but there appears to be some disagreement about how it should be done. "Common Wisdom: Making the Case for a New Georgia Juvenile Code" was released in December by the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and Just Georgia, a nonprofit legal advocacy group for children. Read the Full Article...
Georgia Appleseed encourages dialogue on immigration reform
January 2009 - La Voz
Because they are designed to reflect goals and aspirations, mission statements have a tendency to sound idealistic, even overblown. But when you listen to Executive Director Sharon Hill, you realize that Georgia Appleseed is one social justice agency that has devised a concrete strategy to make those goals a reality. Read the Full Article...