Blog of Rights

A Failure to Protect the Most Vulnerable Population Behind Bars

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:36am
Regular readers of The New York Times know that columnist Nicolas Kristof is a forceful advocate on behalf of human rights around the world. In his column on Thursday, January 28th — “Kids in Crisis (Behind Bars)” — he addresses serious human rights abuses that don’t require a trip half-way around the world to discover.
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…

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...

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:19am

For the last five years, I have been representing an innocent man.

I first met Montez Spradley on Alabama's death row in 2008. From that very first day, he vigorously maintained his innocence of the crime that landed him there: the 2004 murder…

New Pope Washes the Feet of 12 Kids in Prison: An Easter Reminder for the U.S.

New Pope Washes the Feet of 12 Kids in Prison: An Easter Reminder for the U.S.

By Ajmel Quereshi, Staff Counsel, ACLU at 10:34am

Last week, while Christians around the world were preparing to celebrate Easter, the newly elected Pope Francis visited Casal Del Marmo...

SB 1070: The Fight Continues

SB 1070: The Fight Continues

By Alessandra Soler, ACLU of Arizona at 2:41pm

For 19-year-old Hugo Carrillo Escobedo, SB1070 is about more than just “showing your papers.”  After “squealing” his tires, Hugo wound up in immigration detention for eight hours. Hugo’s story is particularly compelling…

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…

$4.1 Million Settlement Puts Jails on Notice: Shackling Pregnant Women is Unlawful

$4.1 Million Settlement Puts Jails on Notice: Shackling Pregnant Women is Unlawful

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 5:52pm
Every year in the United States babies are born to women who are literally in chains – shackled to their delivery beds even in the act of labor. Thankfully, there is hope that this long-hidden and terrible practice – and the legacy of pain,…
Solitary Confinement in Arizona: Cruel and Unusual

Solitary Confinement in Arizona: Cruel and Unusual

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 1:09pm

A class action lawsuit filed today by the ACLU, along with the Prison Law Office, the Arizona Center for Disability Law, and the law firms Jones Day and Perkins Coie, alleges that the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) houses thousands of…

Time Out Is for Kids. This Isn't.

Time Out Is for Kids. This Isn't.

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project & Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 11:35am

"I developed techniques to survive. I've learned to play chess with other [kids] through a six-inch wall to keep myself occupied. But for others, it breaks them, makes them either violent or suicidal."

These are the words of Lino Silva, who…