Blog of Rights

Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 1:31pm
Kilee Lowe was sitting in a park when cops picked her up and booked her into jail overnight.
A Psychotic Episode Shouldn't End in a Jail Cell

A Psychotic Episode Shouldn't End in a Jail Cell

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:59am

Michelle Mata wants to be treated the way you would want your mom to be treated.

She's an aunt and a neighbor. She likes line dancing. And she suffers from major depressive disorder with psychotic features.

When people like Michelle…

I Was 16 and in Solitary Before I Ever Even Went to Trial

I Was 16 and in Solitary Before I Ever Even Went to Trial

By Reginald Dwayne Betts, Legal Intern, ACLU at 2:01pm

February is cold in Northern Virginia. It's even colder when you're in a cell alone, without a mattress, a blanket, a pillow, or a sheet.

When I walked into that cell in the basement of the Fairfax County Jail, my hands cuffed behind my back…

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…

Solitary confinement cell

Ten Years Without Other People

By Nzinga A. Harrison, MD at 10:41am

Every time they throw my brother into solitary, he loses contact visits. When we visit, he's behind glass, or we can only see him via video. We can't hug him. He can't hold his new baby niece.

My brother, Kofi M. Ajabu, has been imprisoned…

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…

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…

Blog author, Justin Jones

How to Starve the For-Profit Prison Beast

By Justin Jones, Former Director, Oklahoma Department of Corrections at 3:27pm

I know some private prison lobbyists who would love it if you were found with a cell phone. Assuming, of course, that you're already locked in one of the prisons their clients operate in Oklahoma.

Introducing a cell phone into a correctional…

U.N. Flag

U.S. Human Rights Record Undergoes International Scrutiny

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:25pm

This week, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will review U.S. compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the U.S. in 1992. The review will cast light on a dark underbelly of American…

The Sad State of Solitary in Florida: Is There Hope for this Human Rights Violation?

The Sad State of Solitary in Florida: Is There Hope for this Human Rights Violation?

By Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 3:59pm

The world got a glimpse this week into how the United States treats those we lock in solitary confinement, when the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights heard ACLU testimonies on how our treatment of vulnerable prisoners violates international…