Blog of Rights

Rachel
Myers

Rachel Myers is a senior communications strategist at the ACLU focusing on criminal justice issues. She worked previously at the ACLU of Maine and the Portland (ME) Education Partnership, where she trained teachers, students and community organizations to use service learning in the public schools. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Marijuana on the Ballot

Marijuana on the Ballot

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 7:29pm
Last night brought exciting signs that America is finally ready to choose sensible policies over draconian ones that deny sick people access to the medicine they need, and others that clog our criminal justice system with nonviolent marijuana users. ACLU affiliates across the country worked hard to support the passage of three important measures. 
ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Violence in Baca's L.A. County Jails

ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Violence in Baca's L.A. County Jails

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:25pm

The lawsuit filed today charges L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca and his top commanders condoned a longstanding, widespread pattern of violence by deputies against inmates in the county jails.

Washington Post Editorializes on Solitary Confinement in Virginia

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:06pm

The Washington Post had this important editorial on the overuse of solitary confinement in Virginia prison. The Post calls on Virginia to follow in the footsteps of other states that have moved in the right direction and begun to reduce their reliance…

Arizona Governor Will Implement Medical Marijuana Law

Arizona Governor Will Implement Medical Marijuana Law

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:02pm

Gov. Brewer had previously challenged the law in court, arguing that state officials fear federal prosecution for implementing the law. Her case was dismissed earlier this week.

The Problem With Private Prisons

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:06pm

Check out this great opinion piece at CNBC.com by David Shapiro of the ACLU National Prison Project about the problems with the for-profit, private prison industry.

Says David:

Now is the time for serious criminal justice reform, not…

Trading Privacy for Benefits

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:38pm

The New York Times has this story about the dramatic increase in the number of states considering legislation that would mandate drug testing for poor people who rely on public assistance. The ACLU of Florida filed a lawsuit in September challenging…

Death By Missed Deadline

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:29am

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard the appeal of Cory Maples, a man facing death in Alabama because his lawyers were late filing the appeal of his conviction in state court. This excellent New York Times editorial describes how the sad emphasis on…

"Solitary Confinement Should be a Last Resort"

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 12:39pm

That is the title of this excellent editorial in the Washington Post, which takes on the issue of solitary confinement recently brought into the national spotlight by the hunger striking prisoners in California's Pelican Bay State Prison and other…

Replace the Death Penalty in California

Replace the Death Penalty in California

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 2:55pm

Imagine for a minute that all the public busses in California sat dormant in a parking lot, never to run again. Imagine that the public schools sent all the kids home for good. Imagine also that state’s hospitals shuttered their doors and turned…

New Support for Ending the Solitary Confinement of Youth

New Support for Ending the Solitary Confinement of Youth

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 10:48pm

Last week the ACLU and Human Rights Watch released a report about the solitary confinement of young people in America’s jails and prisons. Kids in solitary often spend 22 to 24 hours a day alone, sometimes without access to books, let alone other…

Statistics image