Research & Publications

Access in-depth resources and analysis published by the ACLU regarding our most pressing civil liberties issues.

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Research & Analysis

Digital Dystopia: The Danger in Buying What the EdTech Surveillance Industry is Selling

Digital Dystopia: The Danger in Buying What the EdTech Surveillance Industry is Selling, an ACLU research report, examines the EdTech Surveillance (educational technologies used for surveillance) industry in U.S. K-12 schools. Using in-depth investigation into industry products, an incident audit, student focus groups, and national polling, this report scrutinizes industry claims, assesses the efficacy of the products, and explores the impacts EdTech Surveillance has on students and schools. The report concludes by offering concrete actions school districts, elected officials, and community members can take to ensure decisions about using surveillance products are consistent and well-informed. This includes model legislation and decision-making tools, which will often result in the rejection of student surveillance technologies.

Annual Report

ACLU 2022 Annual Report

The ACLU’s 2022 annual report shares how the organization fought back against this year’s deluge of attempts to undermine democracy and strip away bodily autonomy. Highlighting litigation, advocacy, and grassroots efforts, the report breaks down the ACLU’s work to protect and advance voting rights, reproductive rights, free speech, transgender justice, and more. From filing nine lawsuits to halt state abortion bans after the reversal of Roe v. Wade to fighting for students’ right to learn free from censorship, the work outlined is a testament to the power and resolve of the ACLU across the country. There are also stories of ACLU clients, activists, and donors who are helping fuel this fight.

To download a more print-friendly spreads layout, click here.
Note: The “Protecting Protesters” section on page 10 was corrected on December 13, 2022.

Research & Analysis

‘If I Wasn’t Poor, I Wouldn’t Be Unfit’: The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System

‘If I Wasn’t Poor, I Wouldn’t Be Unfit’: The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System, an ACLU research report produced in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, documents the child welfare’s system’s disproportionate impact on Black and Indigenous families and people living in poverty. Based on comprehensive research, including interviews with caregivers, staff, and experts; policy analysis; and new analysis of government data, this report details how conditions of poverty, such as a family’s struggle to pay rent or maintain housing, are misconstrued as neglect, and interpreted as evidence of an inability and lack of fitness to parent. The research found that child welfare systems too often charge parents of neglect and take away their children instead of providing support to keep families together. In addition to socioeconomic disparities, the report documents racial and ethnic disparities in child welfare system involvement. Black and Indigenous families disproportionately face intrusive child welfare interventions, including investigations and unjust removal of their children. This research not only provides a national perspective, but also includes select data points for each state and a deep dive into California, New York, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The report concludes with concrete recommendations for federal, state, and local policymakers and stakeholders to take immediate measures to reduce the harmful impact of child welfare interventions, and to strengthen and support families and communities to prevent child maltreatment, without subjecting them to surveillance and regulation.

Author: Hina Naveed (@HinaEsq)

Press Coverage: ShiaWaves | The Imprint | Jurist | Al Dia News

Article/Blogs Written By Author: “Commentary: The Child Welfare System Needs An Overhaul” – Human Rights Watch

Related Advocacy/Litigation: “New York Committee to Investigate State’s Child Welfare System” | UN Calls for US Action to Address Racial Injustice in Child Welfare System

Research & Analysis

Captive Labor: Exploitation of Incarcerated Workers

Captive Labor: Exploitation of Incarcerated Workers, an ACLU research report produced in collaboration with the Global Human Rights Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School, examines the use of prison labor throughout state and federal prisons in the U.S. Bringing together interviews and surveys of incarcerated workers, analysis of government data, desk research, and policy review, this comprehensive report documents the harsh conditions and unfair practices, highlighting how incarcerated workers’ labor helps maintain prisons and provides vital public services. The report also includes a focus on prison labor during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report calls for far-reaching reforms to ensure prison labor is truly voluntary and that incarcerated workers are paid fairly, properly trained, and able to gain transferable skills. These calls are accompanied by concrete recommendations for federal, state, and local stakeholders to improve these conditions and ensure that prison systems treat incarcerated workers with dignity and respect.

Learn more about the report | Read the stories of incarcerated workers

ACLU Magazine

Published twice a year, ACLU Magazine shares updates on the ACLU’s critical litigation and advocacy work across the country and tells the stories of the activists, attorneys, and clients at the heart of each case and campaign. To receive ACLU Magazine by mail, become a monthly donor today.

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