Blog of Rights

The 'wHOLE'  Truth Behind Solitary Confinement

The 'wHOLE' Truth Behind Solitary Confinement

On any given day in America there are 80,000 people in solitary settings, not counting youth in juvenile facilities and people in jails.
How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:39pm

Courtney Lockhart is an Iraqi war veteran now on Alabama's death row, but he shouldn't be.

The jury that heard the prosecutor's request for his execution voted unanimously against it, opting instead for life imprisonment after hearing evidence…

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

By Michael K. Williams at 11:48am

When I was growing up in East Flatbush, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, one of my very best friends was something else. He, let's call him MZ, could have had Hollywood on a string. He was actually my inspiration for becoming an actor.

MZ,…

Will Nelson Mandela's Solitary Confinement Inspire Positive Change?

Will Nelson Mandela's Solitary Confinement Inspire Positive Change?

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 3:55pm

It's a short walk from my hotel here in Cape Town to the waterfront. From there you can see Robben Island, the notorious prison where Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters were incarcerated during the darkest days of apartheid.

During his…

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…

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…

 A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

By Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:12pm

Imagine being charged with a crime, going to trial, being found not guilty by reason of insanity, but remaining behind bars for years. You are denied access to a psychiatrist to treat your serious mental illness; you grow more acutely ill; and you…

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:43pm

The CIA's chief interrogator called it "the closest thing he has seen to a dungeon."

At the agency's COBALT detention site in Afghanistan – also known as the "Salt Pit" – detainees were kept in total darkness, shackled to the floors or…

Corrections Corporation of America's Loss Is Ohio's Gain

Corrections Corporation of America's Loss Is Ohio's Gain

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 2:44pm

What happens when a prison for profit loses one of its main moneymakers?

We're about to find out.

The federal Bureau of Prisons announced last week that they would not renew their contract with Corrections Corporation of America to…

"I'm Still Gonna Be Me": Leading the Charge for Change in Prisons and Everywhere Else

"I'm Still Gonna Be Me": Leading the Charge for Change in Prisons and Everywhere Else

By John Knight, LGBT Project at 11:08am

I first met Tatyana a few years after the Wisconsin legislature passed the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act – a cruel piece of legislation aimed at denying urgently needed healthcare to any transperson in custody in Wisconsin.

By that time,…