Blog of Rights

What a Waste

What a Waste

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 9:51am

It's time to abandon the mindset that our criminal justice system should only be about extreme, one-size-fits-all punishment – particularly when the skyrocketing number of these sentences being meted out is grossly out of proportion with crime rates, which are falling.

Meet the Company Making $1.4 Billion a Year off Sick Prisoners

Meet the Company Making $1.4 Billion a Year off Sick Prisoners

By Jesse Lava, Campaign Director, Beyond Bars & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:32pm

Frankie Barton's son has Hepatitis C. It's treatable, but she says the for-profit Corizon Prison Health Management has skimped on giving him the proper treatment while he's incarcerated. If he goes without care, he'll develop sclerosis of the liver—a…

U.S. Conference of Mayors Takes on HIV Criminalization

U.S. Conference of Mayors Takes on HIV Criminalization

By Steven Waddy, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 9:56am

The REPEAL Act gained more influential supporters on Tuesday when the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorsed the bill. The REPEAL Act, sponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), represents a bipartisan effort to provide incentives…

$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,…
Is CCA Trying to Take Over the World?

Is CCA Trying to Take Over the World?

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 5:29pm

The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) sent a letter to 48 state governors offering to buy up their state-owned and operated prisons and put them under CCA control.

"Private Prisons Don’t Save Dollars and They Don’t Make Sense"

By Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 3:03pm

As Florida considers a bill that would create the largest private, for-profit incarceration system in the nation, some of the nation’s leading criminal justice experts joined me yesterday at a press conference outside the doors to the Florida…

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,…

"I'm Still Gonna Be Me": Leading the Charge for Change in Prisons and Everywhere Else

"I'm Still Gonna Be Me": Leading the Charge for Change in Prisons and Everywhere Else

By John Knight, LGBT Project at 11:08am

I first met Tatyana a few years after the Wisconsin legislature passed the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act – a cruel piece of legislation aimed at denying urgently needed healthcare to any transperson in custody in Wisconsin.

By that time,…

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…

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:02am

The Department of Defense this month publicly released its newest rationalization for the abusive force-feeding program at Guantánamo Bay. In this latest memo on hunger strike policies, the abusive force-feeding program is referred to as "medical…