Blog of Rights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (05/03/2013)

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (05/03/2013)

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:25pm
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.
In Florida, High School Student Kiera Wilmot’s Curiosity Is a Crime?!

In Florida, High School Student Kiera Wilmot’s Curiosity Is a Crime?!

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:47pm

Fed up with the school-to-prison pipeline? Take action!

Earlier this week, the well-oiled school-to-prison pipeline once again moved swiftly and fiercely to criminalize kids. This time, the pipeline delivered 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot to the…

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

By Edward L. Smith, Former Chief of Police at 4:47pm

As a former police chief of numerous Oklahoma towns, including Seminole, Clinton, Blackwell, Owasso, Bethany, and Chickasha, I have seen officers disciplined for a variety of insubordinate acts. During my 35 years in law enforcement, however, I have…

NEW LAWSUIT: Police Should Stop Arresting Innocent People Just for Being on a Business’s Property

NEW LAWSUIT: Police Should Stop Arresting Innocent People Just for Being on a Business’s Property

By Jason Williamson & Miriam Aukerman, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Michigan at 1:46pm

The next time you're in Grand Rapids, Michigan and need to pull into a gas station to make a phone...

"Reflection Cottages": The Latest Spa Getaway or Concrete Solitary Confinement Cells for Kids?

"Reflection Cottages": The Latest Spa Getaway or Concrete Solitary Confinement Cells for Kids?

By Kiela Parks, Advocacy Associate, ACLU of Colorado at 12:06pm

When you hear the term "reflection cottage," what comes to mind? A relaxing spa getaway...

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (04/26/2013)

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (04/26/2013)

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:17pm

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…

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...

Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police

Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police

By Sandra Park, ACLU at 3:24pm

Last year in Norristown, Pa., Lakisha Briggs' boyfriend physically assaulted her, and the police arrested him. But in a cruel turn of events...

Youth Solitary Confinement in Texas: A Two-Step in the Right Direction

Youth Solitary Confinement in Texas: A Two-Step in the Right Direction

By Cat McCulloch, ACLU of Texas at 1:51pm

Before 1974, prison guards in Texas routinely beat the kids supposedly under their care and protection. The U.S. District Court...

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (04/19/2013)

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (04/19/2013)

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:35pm

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…