Blog of Rights

How to Really End Mass Incarceration

How to Really End Mass Incarceration

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 9:45am

In 2003, I represented dozens of African-American residents in Tulia, Tex., who had been convicted after a botched drug sting. Jason Jerome Williams, a 22-year-old with no prior criminal record, had been sentenced to 45 years in prison for four sales of an eighth of an ounce of cocaine.

All Kids Sentenced to Die in Michigan Prisons Get Second Chance

All Kids Sentenced to Die in Michigan Prisons Get Second Chance

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:38pm

363 men and women in Michigan are currently slated to die in prison because of tragic mistakes they made as kids.  In each of these cases, Michigan law gave the judge no choice but to automatically sentence them to life without even the possibility…

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

How to Process Eric Holder’s Major Criminal Law Reform Speech

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 2:10pm

Attorney General Eric Holder just called mass incarceration a moral and economic failure. He just outlined several major proposals that he says will help to ease major overcrowding in federal prisons. And he just suggested that federal prosecutors…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:16pm

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…

The Director of "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" on Ending an Embarrassingly Racist War

The Director of "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" on Ending an Embarrassingly Racist War

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:58pm

Matthew Cooke's new film "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" breaks down the War on Drugs...

The Solitary Confinement Scorecard

The Solitary Confinement Scorecard

By Hilary Krase, ACLU National Prison Project at 1:06pm

Over 30,000 prisoners in California have refused food to protest it. Innocent men freed from death row report that it drives people insane, killing everything inside of them before they ever see the execution gurney. Architects have called for…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:41pm

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…

Washington Gives Us Something to Get Excited About (No, Really!)

Washington Gives Us Something to Get Excited About (No, Really!)

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:35pm

If you care about criminal justice reform, you're coming off a really good month in Washington. Don't believe me? Here's what you have to get excited about:

The U.S. Sentencing Commission released its preliminary report on the effectiveness…
How One Philly School Stopped Violence in Its Tracks

How One Philly School Stopped Violence in Its Tracks

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:05am

I recently read an article in The Atlantic by Jeff Deeney about a school in Philadelphia that took an innovative approach to reduce youth violence in one of the most desperately poor areas of the city. Instead of relying on a hefty police presence…