Blog of Rights

L.A. Times Calls for Jails Investigation to Turn Up the Heat

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:46pm
An editorial in the L.A. Times today called on the new seven-member commission charged with investigating Los Angeles County's jails to put real pressure on Sherriff Lee Baca to improve conditions in the troubled facilities. Facing mounting pressure from the media and public, in October Sherriff Baca announced the formation of the commission to study serious allegations of brutality against inmates — including deputy-on-inmate assaults, deputy-instigated inmate-on-inmate assaults and the use of excessive force — detailed in a recent ACLU report.

Rhode Island Stands Up For Pregnant Women in Prison: Says No to Shackling

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project & Becca Cadoff, Reproductive Freedom Project & Steven Brown, ACLU of Rhode Island at 12:18pm

Following the lead of a dozen other states, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed into law a bill that sharply restricts the harmful practice of shackling pregnant prisoners. As we have learned from the stories of women across the country,…

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

International Human Rights Body Seeking Answers on U.S. Civil and Political Rights Record

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:16pm

An international human rights body is set to question the United States on its obligations under a key human rights treaty. The U.N. Human Rights Committee, an independent body of experts tasked with monitoring compliance with the International Covenant…

ACLU to Testify Today: Solitary Confinement is a Human Rights Violation Happening on U.S. Soil

ACLU to Testify Today: Solitary Confinement is a Human Rights Violation Happening on U.S. Soil

By Hilary Krase, ACLU National Prison Project at 10:01am

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

New York Prisons: A Human Rights Crisis in Our Own Backyard

New York Prisons: A Human Rights Crisis in Our Own Backyard

By Elena Landriscina, Legal Fellow, NYCLU at 10:45am

 

New York has allowed a human rights crisis to fester in its prisons. Each day, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision subjects nearly 4,500 prisoners to solitary confinement...

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:56pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

What We’re Doing About Louisiana’s Prison Crisis

What We’re Doing About Louisiana’s Prison Crisis

By Marjorie Esman, ACLU of Louisiana at 12:02pm

The Times-Picayune recently finished an exposé of the crisis in the Louisiana prison system. Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, at enormous human and financial cost. In an eight-part series that later became the source…

New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

By Leslie Cooper, LGBT Project at 2:25pm

Yesterday the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the long-awaited National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape. These standards – the first of their kind—create an historic opportunity to put an end to the epidemic of sexual abuse in prison, which disproportionately affects prisoners who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or have intersex conditions (LGBTI).

Victory in Colorado: Closing Solitary Confinement Unit Good for Budget and Public Safety

Victory in Colorado: Closing Solitary Confinement Unit Good for Budget and Public Safety

By Denise Maes, ACLU of Colorado

The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) has announced that effective February 2013 it will close a wing of its Centennial Correctional Facility (known as "CSP II") that currently houses 316…

ACLU to United Nations: Solitary Confinement Violates Human Rights

ACLU to United Nations: Solitary Confinement Violates Human Rights

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 2:31pm

The ACLU's Amy Fettig appeared before the U.N. Human Rights Council today to condemn the use of solitary confinement in the United States, following a written statement we submitted last month urging the Council to address this widespread violation…