Blog of Rights

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

By Michael K. Williams at 11:48am
When I was growing up in East Flatbush, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, one of my very best friends was something else. He, let's call him MZ, could have had Hollywood on a string. He was actually my inspiration for becoming an actor.
The 'wHOLE'  Truth Behind Solitary Confinement

The 'wHOLE' Truth Behind Solitary Confinement

On any given day in America there are 80,000 people in solitary settings, not counting youth in juvenile facilities and people in jails.

With no evidence-based research of its effectiveness, solitary confinement is a form of imprisonment that…

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:39pm

Courtney Lockhart is an Iraqi war veteran now on Alabama's death row, but he shouldn't be.

The jury that heard the prosecutor's request for his execution voted unanimously against it, opting instead for life imprisonment after hearing evidence…

I Was Six-Years-Old and Locked in Solitary

I Was Six-Years-Old and Locked in Solitary

By James Burns at 1:24pm

Solitary was the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I was in and out of jail while I was growing up, and every time I was in solitary confinement, it felt as horrible as the first time I was locked up and left alone.

The first time I'd…

My Dad Will Never Come Home

My Dad Will Never Come Home

By April Anderson, Daughter of Dicky Joe Jackson at 1:23pm

Dad usually suggests we leave a little early because leaving is the 'elephant in the room' that we're all trying to avoid. "Ya'll go on and head home and get some rest. Don't worry about me, I'm fine." It's the same stuff every time.

My dad…

Private Prisons Are the Problem, Not the Solution

Private Prisons Are the Problem, Not the Solution

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Gabriel Eber, ACLU National Prison Project at 4:38pm

For the past two years, the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center have been investigating and exposing a horrifying pattern of abuse against juveniles and the mentally ill in two Mississippi prisons operated by the GEO Group, one of the biggest…

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:20pm

Every day from dusk to dawn there's noise, banging, clanking, yelling, screaming. Everyday someone is getting hurt or hurting themselves. Everyday there's fire and floods and complete chaos & hate…Every day is a challenge here. A challenge…

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 10:12am

We are thirty years into the HIV epidemic. Surely, by now, stigmatization, isolation and discrimination against people living with HIV should be a relic of the past. Yet up until today, categorical HIV segregation – one of the ugliest remnants of…

Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

Shocking Video from Maine Prison Shows a Restrained Prisoner Being Tortured with Pepper Spray

By Maggie Heim, Litigation Fellow, ACLU & Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project & Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:24am

You're never going to win… Bottom line is the house wins every time.

That's what Maine Correctional Center Captain Shawn Welch said to a prisoner who was strapped into a restraint chair, his face coated with pepper spray and his legs…