Overincarceration

Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

Not Having a Roof Over Your Head Can Mean Jail Time: The Criminalization of Homelessness

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 1:31pm

Kilee Lowe was sitting in a park when cops picked her up and booked her into jail overnight.

After she got out the next morning, she returned to the park. The same officer who had thrown her into a cell not 24 hours before had booked her again.…

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:41am

This piece originally ran at POLITICO Magazine.

This week, Patrick Leahy, the Democratic senator from Vermont, introduced a revised version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to finally start pulling the reins on America's out-of-control surveillance…

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

Jail Doesn't Help Addicts. Let's Stop Sending Them There.

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:17am

Misti Barrickman has scoliosis. Since she was a teenager, it's been debilitating. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand up.

She started taking Oxycontin to help with the pain and became addicted. She came to Seattle to find large quantities…

Border Crisis Prompting New Xenophobic Drumbeat for an Old Disgrace—Detention Camps

Border Crisis Prompting New Xenophobic Drumbeat for an Old Disgrace—Detention Camps

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 2:44pm

This piece originally appeared at The National Journal.

Seventy-two years ago, U.S. military officials labeled Japanese-Americans "an enemy race." Because they were Japanese-Americans, the government locked members of my family—along with…

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…

For the Poor, Every Arrest is a Gamble

For the Poor, Every Arrest is a Gamble

By Jennifer Carnig, New York Civil Liberties Union at 2:25pm

Homeless. Unemployed. Kids taken. Locked up. Guilty.

If you're rich like Lindsey Lohan, you can be charged with assault and let off the hook – all with the help of a highly paid, private lawyer. But if you're poor and accused of even the…

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Why Everyone Should Read This Week's Cosmo. No, Seriously.

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:13pm

This isn't a blog about the top ten kissing tips for spring. And it's not a blog making fun of the magazine that usually delivers such tips. This is a blog applauding Cosmopolitan for taking a firm stance against criminalizing pregnant women. Well…

The Cost of Imprisoning America's Poor

The Cost of Imprisoning America's Poor

By Marshall Thomas, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:13pm

731,000

That's the number of people imprisoned in America's jails "on any given day," according to the Vera Institute of Justice's new report on America's swollen jail system. While too little attention has been paid to the size…

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