Blog of Rights

Rebecca
McCray

Rebecca McCray works as a paralegal with the Criminal Law Reform Project of the ACLU, which seeks an end to excessively harsh crime policies that result in mass incarceration. The Project works to reduce the number of people entering jails and prisons by reforming our nation's punitive drug policies and challenging police and prosecutorial misconduct and other governmental abuses of power. Rebecca has worked as an educator and researcher at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women, the Iowa Juvenile Home, and Rikers Island, facilitating classes in writing, visual art, and debate. In addition, Rebecca leads free writing workshops throughout New York City with the New York Writers Coalition and regularly contributes to the organization’s blog, The Narrator. An Iowa native, she lives and writes in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa. You can follow her on Twitter here: @rebeccakmccray

The Incomplete Story Told by California’s Declining Juvenile Arrest Rates

The Incomplete Story Told by California’s Declining Juvenile Arrest Rates

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:20pm

A recent study from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) demonstrates that decriminalization of marijuana can actually improve our children’s futures while saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

In 2011, Senate Bill 1449…

Supreme Court Makes the Right Call: "Social Sharing" of Marijuana Not an Aggravated Felony Under Immigration Laws

Supreme Court Makes the Right Call: "Social Sharing" of Marijuana Not an Aggravated Felony Under Immigration Laws

By Molly Lauterback, Immigrants' Rights Project & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:53pm

In a 7-2 decision this week, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the "social sharing of a small amount...

After the Pussy Riot: What This Unjust Sentence Can Teach Americans

After the Pussy Riot: What This Unjust Sentence Can Teach Americans

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:12pm

In the last few months, concerned American celebrities, musicians and activists have joined protesters abroad to demonstrate their support for a Russian feminist collective, Pussy Riot. Following a peaceful performance in Moscow’s Christ the…

Gil Kerlikowske: Please Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is

Gil Kerlikowske: Please Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:02pm

U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske has his work cut out for him.  A revealing recent interview suggests he favors a more treatment-based approach to drug policy than his predecessors, but he has no illusions about the daunting task of de-stigmatizing…

Choosing Death Over Life: (Still) Starving to Stop Solitary

Choosing Death Over Life: (Still) Starving to Stop Solitary

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 10:33am

UPDATE: Although it appears that the hunger strike is over, the problems with solitary confinement remain. Not only are these conditions inhumane and harmful, but they also jeopardize public safety.

Tribeca Film Festival Highlights International Overincarceration

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:30pm

The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival came to a close last month, with the festival's coveted Heineken Audience Award going to Give Up Tomorrow — a disturbing documentary detailing a story of an injustice perpetrated against a family in the Philippines.

Spanning…

Check Your Constitutional Rights at the Classroom Door? Not on Our Watch.

Check Your Constitutional Rights at the Classroom Door? Not on Our Watch.

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:40pm

A judge has ruled that Linn State Technical College's mandatory drug-testing policy is patently unconstitutional, and has blocked any further drug testing.

Rikers Island Spared by Irene, But What About Next Time?

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 11:57am

Last month, I wrote about the invisibility of Rikers Island on some of New York City's subway maps. Unfortunately, this weekend Hurricane Irene taught us that it's not just a map on a train that fails to acknowledge the thousands of people on…

The High Costs of Going Gray in Louisiana and Nationwide

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:26pm

Prisoners across America are getting older, experiencing all the same ailments that afflict those of the same age who aren't behind bars. Extreme sentencing policies and a growing number of life sentences without the possibility of parole have…

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