Blog of Rights

Treating Addiction as a Disease, not a Crime

Treating Addiction as a Disease, not a Crime

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:05pm
Like many who suffer from addiction, Cameron Douglas’ path to recovery has not been without setbacks. Currently incarcerated in federal prison on a five-year sentence for drug distribution and heroin possession, the 33-year-old son of actor Michael…
Supreme Court Ruling a Blow to Genetic Privacy

Supreme Court Ruling a Blow to Genetic Privacy

By Michael Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 5:29pm

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding Maryland's arrestee DNA testing law is a serious blow to genetic privacy. The ruling allows the police to seize the DNA of innocent Americans who have never been convicted of any sort of crime, without a search…

Anonymous Exposes U.S.’s Biggest Private Prison Company As a Bad Financial Investment

Anonymous Exposes U.S.’s Biggest Private Prison Company As a Bad Financial Investment

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:04am

The oldest and largest for-prison company is not what it would have you believe, at least according to Anonymous...

Prison as Punishment, Not for Punishment

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 3:43pm

No one wants to go to prison, but there's one particular prison in Idaho that's especially feared. Why? According to the Associated Press, over the past two years, more prisoner-on-prisoner assaults have occurred at this specific prison —…

Notorious Sheriff Baca Finally Retires

Notorious Sheriff Baca Finally Retires

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 10:33am

Sheriff Lee Baca stunned the public this week by announcing that he will immediately retire as the head of Los Angeles County jails. His announcement marks another milestone in the ACLU's campaign to end the culture of rampant deputy-on-prisoner violence…

Perhaps the Saddest Profit Motive Ever

Perhaps the Saddest Profit Motive Ever

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 3:16pm

In Pennsylvania, there are two companies called PA Child Care LLC and Western PA Child Care. You might think that these companies offer services and supports to kids to help them become productive adults. You’d be wrong.

These companies offered…

What Happened to My Son Should Never Happen Again

What Happened to My Son Should Never Happen Again

By Grace Bauer, Interim Executive Director, Justice for Families at 4:02pm

Imagine you have a 13-year-old son. And now imagine the worst that could happen to him. I'm a mother, and I've lived through it.

When my son Corey was 13, he was raped by another young prisoner. Cell guards stood by and watched, taking bets…

International Body Slams U.S. Solitary Confinement Practices

International Body Slams U.S. Solitary Confinement Practices

By Ian Kysel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, ACLU Human Rights Program at 5:07pm

There are more than 80,000 people in solitary confinement in the United States. Last week, the widespread misuse and abuse of solitary confinement in jails and prisons across the country drew international condemnation when the Inter-American Commission…

Corrections Corporation of America Loses Four Prison Contracts This Month

Corrections Corporation of America Loses Four Prison Contracts This Month

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:19pm

On Wednesday, news broke that Idaho is dumping the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and searching for a new company to run the state's biggest prison. The prison is so violent that prisoners call it the "Gladiator School," and it has been the…

Smart Justice Fair Justice

Shocking: Seattle Treats 47-Year-Old Woman Like Person, Not Problem

By Chloe Cockburn, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 3:15pm

On a typical night, police officers approach women like "Jane," a 47-year-old who had just sold $20 worth of crack to an undercover officer. Jane is homeless and has a long history of chemical dependency and mental health issues. She has also been…