Blog of Rights

Will
Matthews

Will Matthews is the senior communications officer at the ACLU of Northern California, where he leads the strategic communications component of a statewide ACLU campaign to reform California’s criminal justice system. Previously he was the senior media relations associate at the ACLU’s national office in New York, where he primarily worked on the ACLU’s campaign to reduce over-incarceration. A graduate of Chapman University in Orange, Calif, and the recipient of the Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University, Matthews formerly was an award-winning investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

The ACLU and Religion: Don't Believe Everything You Read On the Internet

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 2:59pm
A malicious and factually inaccurate e-mail accusing the ACLU of not standing solidly on the side of religious liberty – an e-mail that was first circulated six years ago – has once again reared its ugly head and popped up in the e-mail inboxes of people across the country. In an effort to set the record straight, below are two myths the e-mail passes off as truth, followed by the facts which effectively debunk the e-mail’s claims.
Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom

CA Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom "Steps Up" for Marijuana Legalization

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 12:34pm

If you missed the rousing speech delivered by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom over the weekend at the state’s Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles, do yourself a favor and take 10 minutes to give it a watch.

When the "Worst of the Worst" Describes the Prison, Not the Prisoners

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 3:43pm

Less than a decade ago, Unit 32 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Miss., was one of the very worst prison facilities in the nation. As the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports:

The supermax unit at the State Penitentiary at Parchman…

ACLU Lens: Abuse in the Los Angeles County Jails

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 10:41am

A new report released today by the ACLU reveals shocking details of a climate of violence inside the nation's largest jail system. 

Judge Temporarily Halts College's Unlawful Drug Testing Program

Judge Temporarily Halts College's Unlawful Drug Testing Program

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 11:10am

Taking swift action, a federal district court judge last night granted an ACLU request and temporarily halted an unconstitutional policy at a public college in Missouri requiring all incoming students to submit to mandatory drug tests. Judge Nanette…

Profile from the War on Drugs: Hamedah Hasan

Profile from the War on Drugs: Hamedah Hasan

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 11:27am

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 States, and has…

Warehousing the Mentally Ill

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 4:54pm

Ensuring proper care for incarcerated people with mental illness has increasingly become a hot button issue across the country. From Maine to Nevada and in between, state legislatures and department of corrections officials have been forced in recent…

Speak Out Against the "Pain Ray" at L.A. County Jail

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 5:03pm

The ACLU took to the airwaves this week to advance its advocacy against the implementation of Assault Intervention Devices — invisible microwave beam weapons originally developed by the military — as a way of subduing inmates at the…

Death by Firing Squad Highlights Inhumanity of Death Penalty

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 4:46pm

When Ronnie Lee Gardner is strapped into a chair early on Friday morning, and a hood is placed over his head and a small white target is pinned over his heart, the citizens of Utah — and indeed the entire country — will be reminded in…

New York Times Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Immigration Detainees from Sexual Abuse

New York Times Highlights Urgent Need to Protect Immigration Detainees from Sexual Abuse

By Will Matthews, ACLU of Northern California at 2:57pm

It is critical the Obama administration ensures that the bipartisan Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) applies to immigration detention facilities.

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