Blog of Rights

U.S. Looks Overseas for Human Rights Abuses and Ignores U.N. Report Criticizing Its Youth Detention Practices at Home

U.S. Looks Overseas for Human Rights Abuses and Ignores U.N. Report Criticizing Its Youth Detention Practices at Home

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 12:21pm
Recently I visited a youth detention center in South Carolina. As I entered the facility, I saw a line of boys in jumpsuits march past with their arms behind their backs. The guard explained to me that they make the boys march to "help teach them discipline and structure."
The DOJ Ferguson Report Isn’t Just an Indictment of Ferguson Police, but of American Policing Writ Large

The DOJ Ferguson Report Isn’t Just an Indictment of Ferguson Police, but of American Policing Writ Large

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 11:16am

What the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division uncovered in Ferguson – racially biased policing on steroids, encouraged by a court system whose budget was dependent on the extortion of its city's residents – isn't just a dark look into an…

Ferguson, Black & Blue

Ferguson, Black & Blue

By Jeffrey Mittman at 8:46pm

This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Missouri's blog. 

The United States Department of Justice will confirm tomorrow what residents in the St. Louis metro area have long known: If you’re black in Ferguson, you have a greater…

A Most Unsurprising Riot

A Most Unsurprising Riot

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 4:22pm

Originally posted on The Marshall Project.

Life inside the infamous Willacy immigration prison.

No one who has been to Willacy County Correctional Center or the other dozen private, for-profit "criminal alien requirement" prisons around…

The Cost of Imprisoning America's Poor

The Cost of Imprisoning America's Poor

By Marshall Thomas, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:13pm

731,000

That's the number of people imprisoned in America's jails "on any given day," according to the Vera Institute of Justice's new report on America's swollen jail system. While too little attention has been paid to the size…

How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 2:26pm

Should we take the Department of Justice's word on how federal prosecutions of police officers are being conducted and resolved, or do we need to see the data?

After a police officer is accused of a crime and the Department of Justice decides…

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:20pm

Every day from dusk to dawn there's noise, banging, clanking, yelling, screaming. Everyday someone is getting hurt or hurting themselves. Everyday there's fire and floods and complete chaos & hate…Every day is a challenge here. A challenge…

Photo of a police traffic stop

Police Officer Discretion in the Use of Body Worn Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:30pm

In our October 2013 policy white paper on police body cameras, we struggled with how to ensure that the cameras would serve as an effective oversight mechanism for police while not unduly invading privacy. We pointed out that purely from an oversight…

The DEA’s "Cold Consent" Encounters: Definitely Cold, Not So Consensual

The DEA’s "Cold Consent" Encounters: Definitely Cold, Not So Consensual

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:25pm

When law enforcement officers stop and question people for no particular reason, or in the case of the Drug Enforcement Administration, based on a vague perception that a person exhibits "characteristics indicative of drug trafficking," is it any wonder…

For-Profit Companies Are Helping to Put People In Jail for Being Poor. I Should Know, I Was One of Them.

For-Profit Companies Are Helping to Put People In Jail for Being Poor. I Should Know, I Was One of Them.

By Kevin Thompson at 10:50am

In December, I was jailed for five days simply because I couldn't afford to pay $838 in traffic fines and fees to DeKalb County and a private probation company called Judicial Correction Services, Inc.

It sounds unbelievable, but that's exactly…