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

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:48pm
Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system has failed on every count: public safety, fairness and cost-effectiveness. Across the country, the criminal justice reform conversation is heating up. Each week, we feature our some of the most exciting and relevant news in overincarceration discourse that we’ve spotted from the previous week. Check back weekly for our top picks.

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:31pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

Obama's Words, Our Message: We Must Protect the Vulnerable from Sexual Assault

Obama's Words, Our Message: We Must Protect the Vulnerable from Sexual Assault

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 12:43pm

Tell President Obama and Attorney General Holder to grant detainees in ICE custody legal protections from sexual abuse and assault.

5 More Years in Prison for Making a Phone Call

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 10:59am

It's hard to open a newspaper these days without finding an article about California's myriad criminal justice troubles. From the Plata decision ordering the state to reduce the population of its prisons, to the hunger strike by prisoners protesting…

Bloomberg Gives With One Hand; Takes With the Other

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:20pm

This week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he would invest $30 million from his own pocket to uplift the young black and Latino men who are most excluded from New York’s civic, educational and economic life. While this…

At Rikers, Out of Sight, Out of Mind

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 10:20am

Every cartographer has to leave something out. Street names, landmarks, tiny inlets — a two-dimensional rendering of our world can’t possibly include everything. This kind of selective exclusion reminds me of a specific khaki-colored…

Weekly Highlights: News from the War on Drugs

Weekly Highlights: News from the War on Drugs

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:08pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United…

Weekly Highlights: News from the War on Drugs

Weekly Highlights: News from the War on Drugs

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:43pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United…

Sing it, Newt! Gingrich and Allies Promote Criminal Justice Reform

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:57pm

It might seem hard to find something the left and right agree on these days, but we're thrilled to see both sides of the political spectrum reaching an important consensus when it comes to our country's correctional system. As a non-partisan organization,…

ICE Raids and Harrassment by Vigilante Groups

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:20pm
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Dr. Jorge Bustamante, is visiting the United States at the invitation of the U.S. government to review the conditions of migrants and immigrants. To learn more about his visit,…
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