Overincarceration

Gingrich Argues States Should Abandon Life Imprisonment without Parole for Juveniles

Gingrich Argues States Should Abandon Life Imprisonment without Parole for Juveniles

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 10:16am
Prominent conservative leaders Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan penned a forceful editorial last week in the San Diego Union-Tribune advocating that states such as California abandon the draconian practice of sentencing children to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  While professing their continued commitment to conservative values, Gingrich and Nolan assail criminal laws that fail to recognize the inherent differences between children and adults and thus destroy all hope for youth who may one day deserve the opportunity to rejoin society.  Sentencing children to spend the rest of their lives in prison, they assert, represents “an overuse of incarceration.”
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.…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:26pm

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…

ACLU Joins Right on Crime, Prison Ministries, Bipartisan Legislators, and the ABA to Prioritize Criminal Justice Reform

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU at 2:45pm

On Friday, I joined legislators and lawyers from all sides of the political spectrum to help launch the American Bar Association's (ABA) initiative to "Save States Money, Reform Criminal Justice, and Keep the Public Safe." I spoke about…

Washington Gives Us Something to Get Excited About (No, Really!)

Washington Gives Us Something to Get Excited About (No, Really!)

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:35pm

If you care about criminal justice reform, you're coming off a really good month in Washington. Don't believe me? Here's what you have to get excited about:

The U.S. Sentencing Commission released its preliminary report on the effectiveness…
Sequestration Puts Spotlight on America’s Dangerously Overcrowded Federal Prisons

Sequestration Puts Spotlight on America’s Dangerously Overcrowded Federal Prisons

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:18pm

Talk about worrying about the symptom instead of the cause: Attorney General Eric Holder recently sent a letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, warning of the devastating effect budget cuts will have on…

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.

Debt Collectors Aren’t Prosecutors and Shouldn’t Pretend to Be

Debt Collectors Aren’t Prosecutors and Shouldn’t Pretend to Be

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 12:02pm

According to a recent New York Times article, prosecutors and debt collectors are working together to threaten bad check writers with jail, even when no crime has been committed.

Here’s how it works.  Someone writes a check to a…

Seeing Is Believing: Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Is Possible

Seeing Is Believing: Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Is Possible

By Jennifer Bellamy, Washington Legislative Office & Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:38pm

In 2009, Terry Collins, then Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, explained, “We are at a critical and urgent stage. If current trends continue, our research indicates the population will reach nearly 60,000 inmates by…

Los Angeles Sheriff Endorses Report Recommending Swift Closure of Infamous Jail

Los Angeles Sheriff Endorses Report Recommending Swift Closure of Infamous Jail

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 1:41pm

A new report released today finds L.A. County's Men's Central Jail, the largest and most violence-plagued in the nation, can be shut down by the end of 2013.

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