Today, LD 1095, a bill that would allow a privately run prison in Maine, was unanimously killed in committee. This is very good news for three reasons:
Private prisons need high incarceration rates to make money. Quite simply, the more Draconian the sentencing, the better for business. So while mandatory sentencing and three strikes laws keep the prison full to capacity, they do little to make our society safer.
Paul Harris reports in The Guardian that FBI tactics are raising disturbing questions of 'entrapment':
Civil liberties groups are also concerned, seeing some FBI tactics as using terrorism to justify more power. "We are still seeing an expansion of these tools. It is a terrible prospect," said Mike German, an expert at the American Civil Liberties Union and a former FBI agent who has worked in counter-terrorism.
Last week, the ACLU wrote to the CEOs of the nation’s major cell phone providers asking that they stop routinely collecting and storing data on their customers’ daily movements.
Our cell phone companies know more about where we are throughout the day than our closest friends. One of the byproducts of the way cell phones work – staying in constant touch with the nearest cell tower – is that our carriers can tell roughly where we are.
Our Membership and Education Organizer, Jon Gaither, has been organizing Bill of Rights conferences for high school students across the state. In addition to learning about civil liberties and the amendments to the Constitution, students receive a Know Your Rights lesson that explains what to do if stopped by Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI.
Facing questioning by police can be intimidating so it's always a worth a reminder on what rights we have when dealing with law enforcement.