Blog of Rights

Standing Up Against Sexual Assault By the State

Standing Up Against Sexual Assault By the State

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 11:05am

After meeting with visitors, prisoners in a Michigan prison are forced to remove all of their clothing and spread open their vaginal lips as a guard peers into their vaginal cavities.

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…

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…

Why Are We Spending So Much To Lock Up Elderly Prisoners Who Pose Little Threat?

Why Are We Spending So Much To Lock Up Elderly Prisoners Who Pose Little Threat?

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 3:07pm

Elderly prisoners are the least dangerous group of people behind bars but the most expensive to incarcerate. Yet despite this truth, the number of elderly prisoners is skyrocketing. Harsher sentences for less serious crimes – one defining characteristic of our failed “tough on crime” and “war on drugs” policies – are responsible for this staggering increase in the number of older prisoners, and taxpayers are taking the hit.

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…

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 —…

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...

Meet the Prison Phone Company Profiting Off Love

Meet the Prison Phone Company Profiting Off Love

By Jesse Lava, Campaign Director, Beyond Bars & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 10:57am

While the two of us were writing this blog post, we called each other twice. Our organizations—the ACLU and Brave New Foundation—paid for the calls via flat monthly payments to our respective phone companies. The rates are reasonable, and if they…

New York Subjects Prisoners to Solitary as a Disciplinary Tool of First Resort

New York Subjects Prisoners to Solitary as a Disciplinary Tool of First Resort

By Elena Landriscina, Legal Fellow, NYCLU at 1:52pm

On any given day in New York State, approximately 4,500 people are confined for 22 to 24 hours a day in solitary confinement...