Overincarceration

Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past!

Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past!

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:00am

Here’s to starting the New Year right. The notorious Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois, with its practice of housing human beings alone in cells for 22-24 hours per day with little or no human interaction or outside stimulus, officially shut its doors today.

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:02pm

Across the country, cash-strapped cities and counties are throwing poor defendants in jail for failing to pay legal debts that they can never hope to manage. On Monday, the New York Times told the story of Gina Ray, whose $179 speeding ticket…

For Some Convicted of Drug Offenses, the Punishment Never Ends

For Some Convicted of Drug Offenses, the Punishment Never Ends

By Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, ACLU at 4:42pm

Mass incarceration not only destroys families and mangles communities, it slowly erodes our democracy. Too many Americans convicted of nonviolent offenses, such as drug crimes, are punished with excessive prison sentences and then permanently ejected…

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

The 1980s Called. They Want Their Mandatory Minimums Back.

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:27pm

Senator Leahy closed this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on mandatory minimums by asking everyone in the room with a loved one serving a mandatory minimum to stand up. The whole audience stood.

This was a poignant display of…

A more Cost-Effective Way to Deal with the Elderly Prisoner Boom

A more Cost-Effective Way to Deal with the Elderly Prisoner Boom

By Will Bunting, ACLU Fiscal Policy Analyst at 5:43pm

Under the Second Chance Act of 2007, for two years the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) conducted a pilot program to determine the effectiveness of placing eligible elderly prisoners on home detention (which includes detention in a nursing home or other…

Preying on the Poor: For-Profit Probation Edition

Preying on the Poor: For-Profit Probation Edition

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:48pm

Welcome to Alabama, the state of the never-ending seat belt ticket.

Hali Wood is 17. She's applied to work at several grocery stores in her home town of Columbiana, but none are hiring. A few months back, cops ticketed Hali for not wearing…

Sorting at a mailroom. Photo source: Jason V. via Wikimedia

Assembly-Line Injustice

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 10:46am

Dozens of tired, bedraggled men line up in shackles to plead guilty en masse. A judge claims his personal best is sentencing 70 people in 30 minutes: an average of twenty-five seconds per person to review the charges, hear his or her plea, and hand…

Scott Panetti

Texas Wants to Kill This Mentally Ill Man

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:47am

Wearing a cowboy costume and a purple bandana, Scott Panetti defended himself at his capital trial in Texas without counsel, where he tried to call the Pope, J.F.K, and Jesus Christ to the witness stand. In Tennessee, Richard Taylor represented himself…

Continuing the Fight for Civil Rights and Prisoners' Rights

Continuing the Fight for Civil Rights and Prisoners' Rights

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 3:46pm

In the United States, the freedom struggle of Black people and the struggle for prisoners' rights have long been intertwined.

What if Wisconsin Arrested Half as Many People for Marijuana Possession?

What if Wisconsin Arrested Half as Many People for Marijuana Possession?

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:35pm

Wisconsin and Minnesota are very similar states with very different approaches to marijuana possession. The two states have roughly the same number of people and similar demographics, but Wisconsin arrests twice as many people for marijuana possession. Which…

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