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.

Editorial: Drug-Testing Welfare Applicants Nets Little

Editorial: Drug-Testing Welfare Applicants Nets Little

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:00pm
An editorial in yesterday's USA Today takes a hard look at the recent push to drug-test applicants for public assistance across the country. The verdict? "Until states can come up with a smarter way to ferret out the abusers while protecting children, the testing craze will be just another program that appeals to stereotypes in hard economic times while producing little value in the real world."
Extreme Sentencing

Extreme Sentencing

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 6:12pm

Snatching a purse off the arm of an elderly woman is one of the nastier offenses I can think of – the kind of thing that might make you shake your head and say to yourself “I hope whoever did that gets what’s coming to him.”…

Overincarceration in America

Overincarceration in America

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 11:35am

We believe that America’s criminal justice system should keep communities safe, treat people fairly, and use fiscal resources wisely. But more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before - unfairly and unnecessarily, with no benefit…

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:28pm

A private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America, wants to buy your state's prisons and keep them full. Help us stop them.

VIDEO: African-Americans Excluded From Capital Case Juries

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:54pm

Laverne Keys, a longtime North Carolinian who wished to do her civic duty by serving on a jury, believes she was excluded from service because she is black. “It made me feel like I was back in 1960, that racism is still very much alive. It…

L.A. Times Calls for Jails Investigation to Turn Up the Heat

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:46pm

An editorial in the L.A. Times today called on the new seven-member commission charged with investigating Los Angeles County's jails to put real pressure on Sherriff Lee Baca to improve conditions in the troubled facilities. Facing mounting pressure…

The High Price of Habitual Offender Laws

The High Price of Habitual Offender Laws

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:07pm

Has North Carolina taken one step forward but another one back in trying to solve the state's prison population issues? The recently passed Justice Reinvestment Act looks to make some positive strides in the area of criminal justice reform, particularly…

Sentencing Children to Die in Prison

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:23pm

One year ago this week, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing youth who have committed non-homicide offenses to life in prison without some meaningful opportunity for review of that sentence is unconstitutional. Although the ruling does not…

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…
Podcast: Billy McCarthy of We Are Augustines talks about Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

Podcast: Billy McCarthy of We Are Augustines talks about Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 9:51am

Many of singer / songwriter Billy McCarthy's songs were inspired by his brother James, who suffered from mental illness and took his own life after spending five years in solitary confinement in a California prison.

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