Overincarceration

Senate Hearing Explores the Exorbitant Costs of Incarceration

Senate Hearing Explores the Exorbitant Costs of Incarceration

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:51pm
Over the last 30 years, the population of the federal prison system has increased exponentially – nearly 800 percent – largely due to the overrepresentation of those convicted of drug offenses, many of whom are low-level and non-violent. Today, a record 218,000 people are confined within Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) operated facilities or in privately managed or community-based institutions and jails.
ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:28pm

The Supreme Court ruled today that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA), which reduced the disparity in federal sentencing between crack and powder cocaine, applies to people whose offenses pre-date the law but who were sentenced after its passage.…

The Outskirts of Hope: How Ohio’s Debtors' Prisons are Ruining Lives and Costing Communities

The Outskirts of Hope: How Ohio’s Debtors' Prisons are Ruining Lives and Costing Communities

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 11:44am

They are unconstitutional. They are against state law. And yet, debtors’ prisons – jailing people because they are too poor to pay their court...

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…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (1/4/2013)

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (1/4/2013)

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:21pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:28pm

A private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America, wants to buy your state's prisons and keep them full. Help us stop them.

Strange Bedfellows Call for Mandatory Minimums Reform

Strange Bedfellows Call for Mandatory Minimums Reform

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 3:11pm

It's a rare day in Washington when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) agree on anything. So when I heard earlier this week that Paul and Leahy introduced a bill together that gives judges more discretion on mandatory minimum sentences,…

Refusing to Disappear: Prisoners at Tamms and their Families Conducted a Sustained Advocacy Campaign to Shut this "Supermax" Down

Refusing to Disappear: Prisoners at Tamms and their Families Conducted a Sustained Advocacy Campaign to Shut this "Supermax" Down

By Alan Mills, Legal Director, Uptown People’s Law Center at 3:58pm

Tamms was sold to the public as necessary to control the “worst of the worst” prisoners in Illinois. Yet when it opened in 1998, the majority of prisoners had virtually no disciplinary history at all.

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