Our criminal justice system is broken. We have 25% of the world's incarcerated population and spend nearly $50,000 PER adult we lock up in a state prison. Nearly half of the inmates in state prisons are locked up for nonviolent offenses. Every dollar we spend on prisons and jails is a dollar that is not spent on other priorities such as education, social services, or real public safety solutions.
What do you call placing over 80,000 American prisoners in isolated environments for 22-24 hours a day for months or years or decades causing serious psychological damage that increases recidivism and prison violence and costs upwards of $75,000/annually per inmate?
Last week, the New York Timeswrote about a gunshot detection technology called ShotSpotter. Similar to video camera monitoring technology, audio detection devices are set up throughout a city. These devices pick up the sound of a gunshot and triangulate the location. Back at a control room, a technician notifies the police. Within minutes of the initial gunshot, police arrive on the scene often beforea 911 call is even placed.
In the scenario below, one sentence is incorrect. Can you find it?
The police sneak into your home and attach a tiny tracking device to your person. The device not only reveals your physical movements but records your conversations and has the ability to view your on-line activities.
The ACLU of Maine Foundation filed suit today on behalf of Wilmer Recinos, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador that suffered a brutal beating at the hands of two guards while being held in the Cumberland County Jail in 2010.
Gabe Rottman, legislative counsel/policy advisor in the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, has an interesting breakdown of H.R. 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." Signed by the president in mid-March, it expands an existing statute that criminalizes certain activity in and around areas that are restricted by the Secret Service.
Among the more troublesome aspects of the new law:
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear arguments for United States v. Arizona, the Justice Department’s challenge to SB 1070.
SB 1070 is Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law. After the law passed in 2010, two dozen copycat bills were introduced in state legislatures across the country; five passed in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah. The ACLU and a coalition of civil rights organizations have filed lawsuits in all six states.