Blog of Rights

Jesselyn
McCurdy
McCurdy is responsible for defending civil liberties in Congress and in the Executive Branch in the areas of criminal justice. McCurdy was a member of the ACLU WLO staff for five years before accepting a position as a Counsel with the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.  She was the lead House counsel for the historic Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 when it passed Congress.
 
McCurdy is a graduate of Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, and received a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Rutgers University.
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Bureau of Prisons Has Great New Look for Spring

Bureau of Prisons Has Great New Look for Spring

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:01am
Despite the never-ending polar vortex, spring is in the air. From cleaning out your fridge to busting out your warm weather wardrobe for the first time in six months, spring is a time for change for the better.
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:04am

Our country's federal prison population has grown by nearly 800% in the last 30 years.

Seriously. That's not a typo. Fueled by the failed "War on Drugs" and extreme, one-size-fits-all sentencing, our federal prison population has ballooned…

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:27pm

Senator Leahy closed this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on mandatory minimums by asking everyone in the room with a loved one serving a mandatory minimum to stand up. The whole audience stood.

This was a poignant display of…

Washington Gives Us Something to Get Excited About (No, Really!)

Washington Gives Us Something to Get Excited About (No, Really!)

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:35pm

If you care about criminal justice reform, you're coming off a really good month in Washington. Don't believe me? Here's what you have to get excited about:

The U.S. Sentencing Commission released its preliminary report on the effectiveness…
New Report Shines a Light on Solitary Confinement

New Report Shines a Light on Solitary Confinement

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:20am

It's estimated that more than 80,000 prisoners are held in solitary confinement or restricted housing across the United States on any given day. According to a new report released last week by the U.S. General Accounting Office, it's about time the…

Sequestration Puts Spotlight on America’s Dangerously Overcrowded Federal Prisons

Sequestration Puts Spotlight on America’s Dangerously Overcrowded Federal Prisons

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:18pm

Talk about worrying about the symptom instead of the cause: Attorney General Eric Holder recently sent a letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, warning of the devastating effect budget cuts will have on…

One Year After Simmons: ACLU Sends Letter to DOJ to Help Release People Wrongly Languishing in Federal Prisons

One Year After Simmons: ACLU Sends Letter to DOJ to Help Release People Wrongly Languishing in Federal Prisons

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:53pm

Yesterday, USA Today reported on a letter the ACLU sent to top officials at the Department of Justice, urging immediate action to identify and possibly release dozens of wrongfully imprisoned federal inmates.

The ACLU’s letter is a follow-up…

Federal Prisons Busting at the Seams: Sentencing Commission Should Prioritize Growing Prison Population

Federal Prisons Busting at the Seams: Sentencing Commission Should Prioritize Growing Prison Population

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:54pm

The U.S. Sentencing Commission is in the process of determining the issues that it will prioritize 2013. The commission embarks on this process every year and invites the public to suggest what it thinks the commission should concentrate its efforts…

Brady Reform: New Legislation Is a Win for Justice

Brady Reform: New Legislation Is a Win for Justice

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:47pm

In the 1963 Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a defendant’s fundamental right to any and all favorable information that might prove he or she was innocent of a crime. From that case came the “Brady…

An Opportunity to Leave My Mark in History

An Opportunity to Leave My Mark in History

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:12pm

This month we commemorate the achievements of African-Americans, celebrate the legacy of those involved in the struggle, and rededicate our commitment to the work.

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