Securing IDs for Individuals who are Incarcerated

Financial AssistanceLaw & Public PolicySocial ServicesAuburn University

Contact Information
Hollie Cost


Auburn, Alabama

Program Description

The Office of Public Service was awarded a $60,000 grant by the Financial Health Network’s (FHN) Financial Solutions Lab in December 2021 to facilitate a pilot program and system mapping of the current process to obtain government issued identification through a justice-involved institution. The FHN and Alabama Appleseed identified lack of government-issued identification as a barrier to the financial health of those who are incarcerated.


Following initial meetings with Alabama state agencies such as the Department of Corrections (ADOC), Department of Youth Services (ADYS), Department of Public Health (ADPH), Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Dr. Hollie Cost (AVP for University Outreach and Public Service), Tori Ho (Office of Public Service Graduate Assistant), and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life (DMC) convened the state agencies, justice-involved individuals, and community-based reentry organizations to discuss their current process and experiences in obtaining identification for their populations or as a formerly incarcerated individual. All parties shared their institutional knowledge and experience and provided feedback to assist the DMC with proposing a new pathway to secure identification for 10-30 individuals during a pilot.


As the project concluded, DOC withdrew from participation in the pilot; however, DYS secured a nondriver’s ID or duplicate driver’s license for 50committed youth, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office secured a nondriver’s ID for 2 inmates. DYS has committed to fully integrating this process into each youth’s commitment. Justice involved youth expressed their appreciation and enthusiasm for securing these identifications and indicated they would use them to secure jobs and attend colleges and universities after returning home. Justice involved adults were excited about the prospect of using their new identifications to establish bank accounts and careers.

Last Updated: April 22, 2022