Blog of Rights

The First Step to Fix a Broken Prison? Set the Record Straight

The First Step to Fix a Broken Prison? Set the Record Straight

By Gabriel Eber, ACLU National Prison Project & Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 11:53am
Over the last couple weeks, we've been talking a lot about East Mississippi Correctional Facility, a violent and dangerously understaffed prison where patients with severe mental illnesses go without basic mental health care and many prisoners cut themselves or attempt suicide. The ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Law Offices of Elizabeth Alexander recently filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of the more than 1,100 prisoners confined at EMCF.
Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director

Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:26pm

This piece originally appeared at the Guardian.

It had the air of Hollywood. On the night of 10 March 2004, James Comey, the nominee to lead the FBI for the next ten years, rushed to the hospital bedside of his terribly ill boss, Attorney General…

A Victory for Free Speech from the Supreme Court

A Victory for Free Speech from the Supreme Court

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project & Tara Norris, Women's Rights Project, ACLU at 11:56am

Yesterday, in an important First Amendment decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the government may not require federal grant recipients to endorse the government's policy positions. The decision in Agency for International Development v. Alliance…

Efforts to Close Guantánamo Must Be Accompanied By an End to Force-Feeding

Efforts to Close Guantánamo Must Be Accompanied By an End to Force-Feeding

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:17am

In nominating Clifford Sloan earlier this week to head the Office of Guantánamo Closure, President Obama took a welcome step toward closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay. However, as the hunger strike at the prison continues, more can and must be…

State Dept. Report Spotlights Urgent Need to Fight Modern-Day Slavery

State Dept. Report Spotlights Urgent Need to Fight Modern-Day Slavery

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:32am

The State Department this week released its 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), documenting the worldwide problem of human trafficking and other forms of modern-day slavery. This year's report highlighted the difficulty of identifying…

Rights Groups to Government: Allow U.N. Torture Expert to Examine U.S. Use of Solitary Confinement

Rights Groups to Government: Allow U.N. Torture Expert to Examine U.S. Use of Solitary Confinement

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program & Ian Kysel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, ACLU Human Rights Program at 9:53am

Human and civil rights groups around the country have asked the U.S. government to invite a U.N....

James Comey's Indefensible Defense of Indefinite Detention

James Comey's Indefensible Defense of Indefinite Detention

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 2:10pm

When Deputy Attorney General James Comey addressed the American people nine years ago, he told them what he called a "sobering story" about Jose Padilla. He described the then 33-year-old accused al Qaeda member's intent to detonate a dirty bomb as…

James Comey: Two Thumbs-Up on Waterboarding?

James Comey: Two Thumbs-Up on Waterboarding?

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:00pm

Waterboarding and other torture tactics may once again take center stage in yet another nomination fight. But this time, the stakes involve a ten-year appointment to head the FBI.

Before President Obama nominates—and certainly before the…

Guántanamo Dispatch: Improvising Basic Trial Rights

Guántanamo Dispatch: Improvising Basic Trial Rights

By Ian Kysel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:11am

Last week's military commissions proceedings in the trial of Abd al Rahim Al-Nashiri in Guantánamo Bay demonstrates the grave threat to justice posed by an ad hoc approach to a defendant's rights. Life and death decisions—Al-Nashiri could face the…

New Report Shines a Light on Solitary Confinement

New Report Shines a Light on Solitary Confinement

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:20am

It's estimated that more than 80,000 prisoners are held in solitary confinement or restricted housing across the United States on any given day. According to a new report released last week by the U.S. General Accounting Office, it's about time the…