Blog of Rights

VICTORY! Henderson et al. v. Thomas et al.

VICTORY! Henderson et al. v. Thomas et al.

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 3:01pm
Today a federal judge in Montgomery, Alabama entered a historic decision in the quarter-century-old fight for equality for prisoners living with HIV.   It’s the culmination of a month-long trial in a class-action lawsuit by the ACLU that put Alabama’s discriminatory and dehumanizing treatment of prisoners with HIV under a national spotlight.
There is so Much More to us Than Just Being HIV-Positive

There is so Much More to us Than Just Being HIV-Positive

By Dana Harley at 12:54pm

I entered a system that stated in its mission statement that I would be rehabilitated and prepared for society upon my return. That is so far from the truth. I have been subjected to a system that belittled me and literally made fun of me and my illness.…

UN Prisoners’ Rights Meeting: US Puts the Brakes on Progress

UN Prisoners’ Rights Meeting: US Puts the Brakes on Progress

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 1:48pm

The U.N. meeting in Buenos Aires on uniform rules for the treatment of prisoners, which concluded last week, was a significant step toward progressive reform, as the resulting Draft Report makes clear. Unfortunately, due in large part to positions…

Falling Behind: The Human Rights Implications of Solitary Confinement in the United States

Falling Behind: The Human Rights Implications of Solitary Confinement in the United States

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 9:45am

Last week, the world celebrated International Human Rights Day, marking the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

US at UN Prisoners’ Rights Meeting: Progress, but Still Wrong on Solitary Confinement

US at UN Prisoners’ Rights Meeting: Progress, but Still Wrong on Solitary Confinement

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 5:37pm

Yesterday I wrote about the ACLU’s efforts to ensure that the U.S. government is properly engaged at a U.N.

U.S. Must Support Progressive Changes to Prison Human Rights Standards

U.S. Must Support Progressive Changes to Prison Human Rights Standards

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 1:01pm

I’m writing from Buenos Aires, where I’m representing the ACLU at the Inter-Governmental Expert Meeting (IGEM) on the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.  Established in 1955, the SMRs are the leading international…

Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

By Albert Knox at 10:14am

In 2011, the ACLU and the ACLU of Alabama sued the Alabama Department of Corrections for discrimination against inmates living with HIV. Alabama is one of only two states, along with South Carolina, that continue to segregate inmates living with HIV…

VICTORY: Massachusetts Court Orders Greater Protections for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

VICTORY: Massachusetts Court Orders Greater Protections for Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

By Thomas Rosenthal, ACLU National at 11:32am

Massachusetts has joined the growing national consensus that solitary confinement is over-used and under-scrutinized.

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:35pm

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…

Marty Atencio (1967-2011): Another Victim of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jails

Marty Atencio (1967-2011): Another Victim of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Jails

By Gabriel Eber, ACLU National Prison Project & Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 10:38am

Earnest “Marty” Atencio, 44 years old, died on December 20, 2011.  His dead body was covered with bruises, lacerations and puncture marks – wounds that made him look like the victim of a vicious attack by criminals.  But…