Blog of Rights

The Iranian Government locked me in solitary confinement for 410 days. Today, my thoughts are with the hunger strikers.

The Iranian Government locked me in solitary confinement for 410 days. Today, my thoughts are with the hunger strikers.

By Sarah Shourd, Contributing Editor, Solitary Watch at 1:10pm
Sitting in a nearly empty cell – a metal sink, the blank stare of the white walls, fluorescent lights that never turn off – all you have are your own thoughts. Sometimes they race through your head like freight trains; other times a thought can get stuck in a loop, tormenting you for days or weeks at a time, grating the inside of your skull like metal on flesh. Your days are restless, your eyes constantly wandering around your cell and you never, ever stop asking yourself – when am I going to get out?
Aaron Hernandez Is Now Locked Alone Inside a Room the Size of a Parking Spot

Aaron Hernandez Is Now Locked Alone Inside a Room the Size of a Parking Spot

By Hilary Krase, ACLU National Prison Project & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:02pm

Following his well-publicized arrest, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez is now living...

An Innocent Man’s Tortured Days on Texas’s Death Row

An Innocent Man’s Tortured Days on Texas’s Death Row

By Anthony Graves, who spent years in solitary confinement on Texas’ death row before being proven innocent in 2010. Yesterday he testified about the experience at a Senate subcommittee hearing on solitary confinement. His website is www.anthonybelieves.com.

On…

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…

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...

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...

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.

A Close Shave for Religious Liberty at the Supreme Court

A Close Shave for Religious Liberty at the Supreme Court

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 10:26am

To shave or not to shave? That is the question the Supreme Court will consider today as it once again turns to fundamental issues of religious liberty.

This morning, the justices will hear oral argument in Holt v. Hobbs, a Muslim prisoner's…

Prison corridor

CCA Continues to Cite Misleading Study It Funded

By Christopher Petrella, Researcher, U.C. Berkeley at 10:07am

As an academic, it’s my job to be a skeptic. 

That’s why, when two researchers at Temple University published a study last year claiming that for-profit prison companies can save states lots of money, I wanted to know how they’d…