This past week was a great example of how our work in Maine can impact broader reform efforts across the country.
Our advocacy around solitary reform helped spur significant reductions in the rates of solitary confinement at the Maine State Prison. Maine Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte even testified at an April hearing in Illinois about the potential closing of the controversial Tamms Correctional Center, which holds prisoners in long-term solitary confinement, often for a decade or more.
Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights will hold a landmark hearing entitled, Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline. It is the first time a congressional panel will look at this disturbing national trend where children are pushed out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems because of an over reliance on punitive schoo
It's always nice to open the newspaper in the morning and read about the ACLU's work. Today was one of those days. The New York Times featured ACLU attorney Catherine Crump and lawsuits (the first in 2010) the ACLU filed over suspiciousness electronic data searches by the Department of Homeland Security at our borders.
In June, the ACLU of Maine Foundation applauded the decision of the Sanford School Committee to abandon single-sex classrooms in the fifth and sixth grades at Willard School. Documents released under the Freedom of Access Act demonstrated that the program was based on harmful gender stereotypes about the supposedly different learning styles of boys and girls.
The scandal surrounding the affair and subsequent resignation of David Petraeus has also exposed the ability of the FBI to track and read our electronic communications. For an in-depth analysis on how this is done, I highly recommend reading yesterday's blog by Chris Soghoain at the ACLU Blog of Rights. Chris is a Senior Policy Analyst with the ACLU Privacy and Technology Project and he breaks down the methods the FBI can snoop email even when taking steps to a
The United States is without a doubt the greatest country in the world...at incarcerating its citizens. With 5 percent of the world's population, we keep 25 percent of the world's prisoners in our jails. How do we do it? We pass "war on drugs" laws that criminalize non violent offenses and drug addiction.
In 2009, Shane Bauer was one of three Americans detained while hiking in Iraq’s Kurdish region near the Iranian border. He and Josh Fattal ultimately were imprisoned for 26 months, much of it in solitary confinement.