Blog of Rights

David
Shapiro

David Shapiro is a staff attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project, where his work focuses on immigration detention, privatized incarceration, and prisoners' First Amendment rights. Before joining the ACLU, David worked as litigation associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and as a law clerk to Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 3rd Circuit. David graduated from Yale Law School and Harvard College and studied Russian literature in Moscow as a Fulbright Scholar.

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In Colorado, A New Breed of Degrading Search in Prisons

By David Shapiro, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:51am
The ACLU and ACLU of Colorado this week called upon the Colorado Department of Corrections to abandon a new policy that subjects prisoners to degrading body cavity searches. According to press reports and letters sent to the ACLU by prisoners at Denver Women's Correctional Facility (DWCF), prisoners now must hold open their labia as correctional officers, sometimes using a flashlight, sometimes positioning their faces only inches away from a prisoner's genitals, conduct an inspection. Reports even indicate that some prisoners have been forced to pull back the skin of their clitorises. These searches occur even when the guards have no particular reason to suspect concealment of contraband — correctional officers search prisoners' body cavities on a frequent basis, after work assignments and visits from friends and family. Guards apparently have threatened prisoners who resist with pepper spray.

Price Gouging in Prison

By David Shapiro, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:06pm

Today, President Obama signed the Cell Phone Contraband Act, which, as the name suggests, makes it a crime for prisoners to possess cell phones. But a little-known provision of the new law could have far more important effects for prisoners and…

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