Blog of Rights

Hands in chains

The U.S. Government Treats Detained Immigrants Like Slaves

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 2:30pm
The New York Times reported this Sunday that one national employer relied on the labor of more than 60,000 immigrant workers last year to cook, clean, and do laundry while living behind locked doors and barbed wire. The employer paid them only $1 per day – or in some cases, compensated them with nothing more than soda and candy bars.  In one facility, people who organized a work stoppage and hunger strike were thrown into solitary confinement.
With Only Your Wits and an Empty Can of Pepper Spray to Protect You

With Only Your Wits and an Empty Can of Pepper Spray to Protect You

By Claire Gardner, Community Engagement Associate, ACLU of Tennessee at 12:27pm

Listen, Trousdale County, Tennessee, I get it: When a big, powerful corporation comes to town and promises 400 new jobs, that's a huge deal. Especially if you're a small, rural community of hardworking people trying to make an honest living.

So…

How to Disappear a Mentally Ill Grandmother: Throw Her in Solitary

How to Disappear a Mentally Ill Grandmother: Throw Her in Solitary

By Helen Vera, National Prison Project Fellow, ACLU at 1:45pm

Her cell was so dirty that a sock rotted into an open wound on her foot. For two and a half years, she didn't have a bed. She slept on a mat on the floor. She bled on herself, because the jail denied her sanitary napkins.

Jan Green, a 51-year-old…

Congratulations! The Taxes You Just Paid Might Be On Their Way to a Private Prison

Congratulations! The Taxes You Just Paid Might Be On Their Way to a Private Prison

By Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee at 11:44am

Ah, April 15th. Tax Day. 

When you pay taxes, you assume they'll be used to support education, health care, public transportation, and other programs...

Should It Cost Less to Get Out of Jail if You're Rich?

Should It Cost Less to Get Out of Jail if You're Rich?

By Jesse Lava, Campaign Director, Beyond Bars & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 1:34pm

Eric Amparan likes the system the way it is now. As a bail bondsman, he's part of an industry that pulls in $2 billion in revenue every year. Eric lays out how he profits off of financial desperation in our latest video in the Prison Profiteers series:

Here's…

CCA At It Again: Held in Contempt for Understaffing Prison and Lying About It

CCA At It Again: Held in Contempt for Understaffing Prison and Lying About It

By Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU & Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 2:46pm

Yesterday, a federal judge in Idaho issued a scathing decision finding the Corrections Corporation of America...

Karma: Private Prison Company Throws Shade and Fails, Badly

Karma: Private Prison Company Throws Shade and Fails, Badly

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 9:59am

How can you tell that a private prison company is getting desperate? When its lobbyists and PR reps start throwing shade at the ACLU for "politics and posturing."

This new "politics and posturing" talking point is awfully ironic coming from…

Reverend Sanders

Private Prisons Eat Our Humanity

By Reverend Edwin C. Sanders II, Senior Servant and Founder, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church at 2:30pm

Somebody figured out, once again, how to build a machine that can quantify the life of an African-American man and make money off him. They figured out how to use the value of his body to fuel their machine. They learned how to drive its engine, and…

Meet the Company Making $1.4 Billion a Year off Sick Prisoners

Meet the Company Making $1.4 Billion a Year off Sick Prisoners

By Jesse Lava, Campaign Director, Beyond Bars & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:32pm

Frankie Barton's son has Hepatitis C. It's treatable, but she says the for-profit Corizon Prison Health Management has skimped on giving him the proper treatment while he's incarcerated. If he goes without care, he'll develop sclerosis of the liver—a…

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado Continues to Warehouse Mentally Ill Prisoners in Solitary

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado Continues to Warehouse Mentally Ill Prisoners in Solitary

By Kiela Parks, Advocacy Associate, ACLU of Colorado at 11:31am

Fifteen years ago, John Quinn* was a bright high school student with a promising future. A talented athlete...