Blog of Rights

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).

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…

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…

Tennessee and Virginia Agree: Stop Shackling Pregnant Women

By Diana Kasdan, Reproductive Freedom Project at 11:02am

Women's dignity was vindicated twice in a double dose of justice on Thursday. A federal jury in Tennessee awarded Juana Villegas $200,000 as compensation for the suffering she endured when the Davidson County Sheriff's Office unconstitutionally…

Supermax Prisons: Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 2:39pm

This week the European Court of Human Rights temporarily halted the extradition of four terrorism suspects from the United Kingdom to the United States. The court concluded that the applicants had raised a serious question whether their possible…

Based on a True Story: Treme Documents Work of the ACLU

By Marjorie Esman, ACLU of Louisiana at 4:41pm

(Originally posted on Huffington Post.)

The HBO series Treme, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, is the most realistic portrait of that troublesome time that I've seen in the almost five years since it occurred. As a New Orleans resident…

Confronting California's Abuse of Solitary

Confronting California's Abuse of Solitary

By Helen Vera, National Prison Project Fellow, ACLU at 11:52am

Solitary confinement can eat away at someone's mind, making mental illness worse and leaving many people depressed, suicidal, hopeless or hallucinating. It's no place for individuals with mental illness.

In 1995, a federal court in California…

Historic Opportunity to Advance International Norms on Prisoners' Rights

Historic Opportunity to Advance International Norms on Prisoners' Rights

By Helen Vera, National Prison Project Fellow, ACLU at 2:13pm

After a mere seven days in solitary confinement, a person's brain activity slows significantly. Every study conducted on the effects...

Former Death Row Prisoner Speaks Out Against Solitary, Capital Punishment

Former Death Row Prisoner Speaks Out Against Solitary, Capital Punishment

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:07pm

Montez Spradley spent three-and-a-half years on death row in Alabama for a murder he did not commit...

What the Prison Hunger Strikes Mean for an Architect: There Are Some Buildings that Never Should Have Been Built

What the Prison Hunger Strikes Mean for an Architect: There Are Some Buildings that Never Should Have Been Built

By Raphael Sperry, President, Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility at 2:06pm

From Guantanamo Bay to California's Pelican Bay, thousands of prisoners are on hunger strike...