Crackdown on Criminal Trespass by Alabama's Housing Authorities Association

March 24, 2009
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The Alabama Association of Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (AAHRA) is hoping to crack down on the unwanted presence of drug dealers and those engaging in criminal activity at many of its public housing sites. The 150-member association of housing authorities in that state issued a revised “Criminal Trespass Policy” this February. The goal of the policy is to reduce criminal activity involving drugs and other activity that “threatens the peace and tranquility desired for public housing and its residents.” The policy was designed to conform to the laws of the State of Alabama and its local municipalities.

The no-trespass policy gives a housing authority in the state of Alabama the right to issue a verbal or written no-trespass warning for a specified amount of time to any non-resident who has no legal right to be on the authority’s property, or is not an invited guest of a resident.

The warning can be given to a non-resident who is on housing authority property, and:

  • Loiters, engages in, or had a verbal or physical confrontation with law enforcement personnel, residents, guests, or authority personnel, and no criminal activity occurred (no-trespass period is six months).
  • Engages in criminal activity on the property, but is non-violent in nature and cause no physical injury (no-trespass period is one year).
  • Engages in criminal activity on the property in which a deadly weapon was used or threatened to be used, or which resulted in a physical injury to another person (no-trespass period is three years).
  • Has been involved in or suspected of being involved in drug-related activity on the property (no-trespass period is three years).
  • Engages in or has engaged in violent activity on or off the property, and during the course of an investigation was found to be listed with the National Crime Information Center, SJIS, or ACJIC, as a possible dangerous person (no-trespass period is one year after the individual has been removed from the list).
  • Has been involved in any criminal or other activity that occurred on the property and which interferes with the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the residents (no-trespass period is six months to three years, depending on the circumstances).
  • Damages the property of the authority (no-trespass period is one year).
  • Is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program (no-trespass period is a lifetime).

Anyone who receives the no-trespass warning but returns to the property will have their no-trespass time extended. In addition, the housing authority will maintain a copy of the notice, picture, and related documents. And, the names of anyone who receives the trespass notice shall be supplied to local law enforcement agencies.

According to the policy, anyone who receives a no-trespass notice can request to meet with the housing authority to discuss the circumstances surrounding the notice and have it rescinded. And, under special circumstances and written application, the housing authority can allow the person who was given the no-trespass warning special permission to be on the property. However, the guest will need to keep the permission letter with him during his visit on the property.

To see a copy of the no-trespass policy and the permission letter, go to www.aahra.org.