Public Policy

Influencing Public Policy with a Powerful Voice

Our legislative and state advocates are a constant presence in federal government agency offices, on Capitol Hill, and in every state in the U.S., working with law and policy makers to ensure the necessary statutes exist to protect our civil rights.

Click to see key congressional votes via our legislative scorecard.


Mass Incarceration

Mass Incarceration

Today, in America, hundreds of thousands of people are serving decades-long prison sentences that are far out of proportion to their crimes. The ACLU works to do away with extreme sentencing laws and mandatory minimum laws that strip judges of their ability to make the sentence actually fit the crime, by supporting and pushing through legislation such as the Smarter Sentencing Act.

Smart Justice, Fair Justice
Immigrant Child

Immigration: Family Detention

Our immigration detention system locks up hundreds of thousands of immigrants unnecessarily every year, in part through facilities specifically intended for mothers and children. The ACLU fights every day to challenge troubling policies that require bed quotas, and ensure increased monitoring of unaccompanied minors to prevent sexual abuse and other harms to them while they’re in custody.

American Exile: Rapid Deportations That Bypass the Courtroom
Police Line at Protest (Black and White)

Policing Reform

There is a disconnect between law enforcement and the communities they serve, particularly in communities of color. The ACLU is spearheading efforts in Congress and the Administration to improve police practice by advocating for thorough training, carefully crafted policies, and appropriate allocation of resources to law enforcement.

Reforming Police Practices

Surveillance Reform

The NSA and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies continue to use and abuse sweeping surveillance powers, which threaten the constitutional and human rights of millions of people around the world. The ACLU is fighting for meaningful reforms that will put the brakes on government spying and ensure our rights are respected.

Privacy and Surveillance


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