Frank Knaack


Executive Director

E-mail address



Frank Knaack became the Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina in January 2020. Frank previously worked with the ACLU's national offices in NY and DC and with ACLU affiliates in Virginia and Texas. Most recently, Frank served as the executive director of the Montana Innocence Project and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. Earlier in his career, Frank worked with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the International Human Rights Outreach Project in Cairo, Egypt.

Frank has led the creation of advocacy campaigns in multiple states, including campaigns to end policing for profit and a court system funded off the backs of the poor, ensure equal access to the courts, and create a public health centered approach to drug policy. Frank has also led legislative and administrative reform efforts that resulted in major victories in the areas of criminal justice, school-to-prison-pipeline, government surveillance, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, and immigrants' rights, including ending judicial override in capital sentencing in Alabama and stopping Alabama sheriffs from personally profiting from jail food money. 

Frank regularly testifies on human rights issues before state legislative and administrative bodies. Frank is frequently quoted by the press on human rights issue areas, including in the Washington Post, NY Times, Associated Press, and Newsweek. Frank is the author or co-author on numerous policy and documentation reports, including Under Pressure: How Fines and Fees Hurt People, Undermine Public Safety, and Drive Alabama's Racial Wealth Divide (Alabama Appleseed, Oct. 2018) and Alabama's War on Marijuana: Assessing the Fiscal and Human Toll of Criminalization (Alabama Appleseed & Southern Poverty Law Center, Oct. 2018).