Blog of Rights

A Most Unsurprising Riot

A Most Unsurprising Riot

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 4:22pm
Originally posted on The Marshall Project.
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…

Will Nelson Mandela's Solitary Confinement Inspire Positive Change?

Will Nelson Mandela's Solitary Confinement Inspire Positive Change?

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 3:55pm

It's a short walk from my hotel here in Cape Town to the waterfront. From there you can see Robben Island, the notorious prison where Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters were incarcerated during the darkest days of apartheid.

During his…

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…

 A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

A Living Nightmare in America's Paradise

By Eric Balaban, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:12pm

Imagine being charged with a crime, going to trial, being found not guilty by reason of insanity, but remaining behind bars for years. You are denied access to a psychiatrist to treat your serious mental illness; you grow more acutely ill; and you…

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…

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…

Congratulations! The Taxes You Just Paid Might Be On Their Way to a Private Prison

Congratulations! The Taxes You Just Paid Might Be On Their Way to a Private Prison

By Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee at 11:44am

Ah, April 15th. Tax Day. 

When you pay taxes, you assume they'll be used to support education, health care, public transportation, and other programs...

Corrections Corporation of America Loses Four Prison Contracts This Month

Corrections Corporation of America Loses Four Prison Contracts This Month

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:19pm

On Wednesday, news broke that Idaho is dumping the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and searching for a new company to run the state's biggest prison. The prison is so violent that prisoners call it the "Gladiator School," and it has been the…