On August 12, 2009 the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA), challenging a policy that bans certain individuals from being on or near public housing property, even to visit their families.
Rico Johnson lives with his great-grandmother, Glenda Smith, but his mother can’t live with them because of a juvenile arrest.
Dalanda Moses had to choose between raising her daughter without a father or moving away from the support of her family in public housing.
Delray Fowlkes can’t live with his son in public housing because of an arrest five years ago for which he was never prosecuted or convicted.
Esther Sharps, who is 71, has been isolated from her family; three of her sons and eight of her grandsons are banned from visiting and taking care of her.
On August 12, 2009 the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA), challenging a policy that bans certain individuals from being on or near public housing property, even to visit their families. Individuals who violate the ban are arrested and prosecuted for trespassing, and residents who allow banned family members into their homes are subject to eviction.
HACA falsely claims that every one of the more than 500 people on the list presents a danger to the community. In fact, many banned individuals were placed on the list based on incidents in which they were never convicted or even charged with a crime, and others based on minor offenses committed years ago.
The lawsuit is being brought by residents of Annapolis public housing and their banned family members because their families have been torn apart by the banning policy. Fathers and mothers are prevented from living with and raising their children; children and grandchildren are prevented from visiting and caring for their aging parents and grandparents; and families cannot gather together at holidays or to mourn the death of a family member.
The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, charges that the banning policy violates the rights of public housing residents, their families and friends to free association, privacy and quiet enjoyment in their homes.
> Women and the Criminal Justice System
In the last 25 years, the number of women and girls caught in the criminal justice system has skyrocketed: there are now more than 200,000 women behind bars and more than one million on probation and parole.
> Employment Discrimination Against Women with Criminal Convictions
People with criminal records face widespread employment discrimination. Women, particularly poor women and women of color, are disproportionately affected by discrimination in fields such as nursing, childcare, and home health care.