Prisoner Rights

The ACLU of Michigan continues to fight unconstitutional conditions in our local prisons and jails and the "lock 'em up" mentality that prevails in the legislatures. Our guiding principle is that even though prisoners are deprived of liberty they are still entitled to basic human rights.

Lansing Watchdog: Fighting for a Second Chance for Juvenile Lifers

Lansing Watchdog: Fighting for a Second Chance for Juvenile Lifers

2016-05-17 00:00:00

ACLU at the Michigan Capitol – May 16, 2016

In January 2016, the U.S.. Supreme Court settled an outstanding question in the interpretation of their series of promising opinions addressing the moral and legal question of whether juvenile defendants in our criminal justice system should be treated in the same manner as adults. 

Lansing Watchdog: Marching Toward Smart Justice

Lansing Watchdog: Marching Toward Smart Justice

2016-03-07 00:00:00

ACLU at the Michigan Capitol – March 7, 2016

Google "mass incarceration" and you get seemingly countless hits. Our massive prison population is the issue occupying the focus of state legislatures across the country, driving complicated and multi-faceted campaigns to reduce the percentage of state budgets that go toward locking up way too many citizens for way too long.

ACLU of Michigan Calls for Federal Probe into “Pay-or-Stay” Sentencing After Death of Macomb County Jail Inmate

ACLU of Michigan Calls for Federal Probe into “Pay-or-Stay” Sentencing After Death of Macomb County Jail Inmate

2015-10-20 00:00:00

DETROIT—Concerned over potential civil-rights violations in the grisly death of Macomb County Jail inmate David Stojcevski, the ACLU of Michigan in a letter today urged US Department of Justice officials to investigate not only the fatality but also the unconstitutional “pay-or-stay” sentencing practices that landed Stojcevski in jail in the first place.

Major Bill Package Seeks to Remove Youth from Michigan’s Prison System

Major Bill Package Seeks to Remove Youth from Michigan’s Prison System

2015-10-06 00:00:00

LANSING - In response to growing concern over the treatment of youth in Michigan’s adult prison system, a bipartisan group of state legislators working alongside the ACLU of Michigan, the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, Michigan United and other justice advocacy organizations today announced a package of bills to reduce the number of young people exposed to adult prisons. 

Juvenile Life Without Parole Project: Using international law and advocacy to give children a second chance

This 66-page packet condemns sentencing minors to life without the possibility of parole through extensive research. Seeking to resolve this injustice, the report provides various resources, including a Wayne State University School of Social Work Public Opinion poll.

File Download: 

http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/JWLOPpacket.pdf

Second Chances: Shining a Light on Human Rights Violations in Michigan's Child Sentencing Guidelines

This 8-page booklet explores the practice of sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the context of international human rights.

File Download: 

http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/JLWOP%20HR%20Second%20Chances.pdf

Pages

September 29, 2015
In a longstanding ACLU lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), a federal judge strongly criticized its failure to provide adequate...
August 11, 2015
The Livingston County Jail has a postcard-only policy (Challenging 'Postcard-Only' Mail Policies), but there is supposed to be an exception for legal mail. In...
December 18, 2014
In 2014 the ACLU of Michigan began to receive extremely disturbing reports of mentally ill inmates being mistreated at Huron Valley Correctional Facility, the...
December 04, 2014
At the Muskegon County Jail, male guards routinely view naked or partially naked female inmates while they are showering, dressing, or using the toilet....
September 23, 2014
In 2009, the ACLU of Michigan agreed to represent Muslim prisoners in a religious freedom class action in federal court. Although the Michigan Department of...
June 16, 2014
African Americans constitute 13 percent of the U.S. population, but 40 percent of U.S. prisoners. Black males are jailed at a rate of more than 6.5 times that...
August 26, 2013
In 2012, the ACLU of Michigan was shocked to learn that at the Isabella County Jail in Mount Pleasant, inmates spent many months and sometimes over a year in...
October 10, 2012
In a disturbing new trend that has been sweeping the country, some jails are prohibiting inmates from sending or receiving any mail unless it is written on one...
No related legislation
No related campaigns
November 02, 2015 Criminal Justice
The ACLU of Michigan has been working to abolish modern-day debtors’ prisons for the past seven years. As part of this work, I have observed courts and...
David Stojcevski died, gasping for breath, naked on the cement floor of his cell at the Macomb County Jail, while his jailors watched the life ebb out of him...
DETROIT—Concerned over potential civil-rights violations in the grisly death of Macomb County Jail inmate David Stojcevski, the ACLU of Michigan in a letter...
October 06, 2015
LANSING - In response to growing concern over the treatment of youth in Michigan’s adult prison system, a bipartisan group of state legislators working...
August 19, 2015
Concerned that indigent defendants in the Detroit suburb of Eastpointe are being tossed into “debtors’ prison” for their inability to pay court fees and fines...
August 12, 2015
Dan Korobkin, deputy legal director for the ACLU of Michigan, today applauded a federal appeals court for upholding an earlier ruling that Livingston County...
April 22, 2015 Racial Justice Project
It’s almost four years from the day I was forced off an airplane in Detroit, held for hours in a cell, strip-searched, and interrogated without explanation....
March 31, 2015
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $100,000 by the JEHT Foundation to form the Juvenile Life...
February 23, 2015
Barbara Hernandez was only 16 years old when she was tried as an adult and convicted of murder after her abusive boyfriend killed a man. Barbara entered...
February 06, 2015 This Week Online
State Departments Prepare to Extend Benefits to 323 Gay Couples Married in Michigan (Mlive) Jay Kaplan, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan who worked on...
January 01, 2015
The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that it is unconstitutional to jail a person for failure to pay a debt that she or he cannot afford. However, the ACLU of...
December 04, 2014
The ACLU of Michigan today filed a federal lawsuit against Muskegon County on behalf of eight female inmates of the Muskegon County Jail who contend that...
November 21, 2013
Under a court-approved settlement filed late yesterday afternoon, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) will accommodate the religious requirements of...
October 03, 2013
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed on behalf of inmates at the Isabella County Correctional...
July 26, 2013 Weekly Rights Review
The ACLU of Michigan has filed suit on behalf of a peaceful protester who was arrested under a law that doesn’t even exist, the ACLU and a conservative think...
October 30, 2012 Criminal Justice
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit today against Isabella County Correctional Facility challenging the discriminatory...
June 25, 2012 Criminal Justice
In a landmark decision today that effectively strikes down Michigan’s sentencing scheme, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for children under...
May 15, 2012 Racial Justice
Today, advocates, clergy and family members of individuals sentenced to juvenile life without parole for crimes they committed as children joined Second...
April 12, 2012 Criminal Justice
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan confirmed today that the Michigan Department of Corrections has abandoned the routine...
April 12, 2012 Criminal Justice
Update 4/12/12: VICTORY! With your help, we've confirmed that the Michigan Department of Corrections has abandoned the routine implementation of this degrading...
August 05, 2011 Weekly Rights Review
Our justice system should be a place where freedom has no price and equality prevails. Sometimes reality falls short of these lofty goals, and it's often the...
July 15, 2011
In a decision issued today, a federal judge has allowed a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s juvenile life without parole sentences to proceed. Today’s ruling...
April 21, 2011
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan were in federal court today for arguments in a lawsuit on behalf of nine Michigan individuals who...
November 17, 2010 Criminal Justice
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan today filed a lawsuit on behalf of nine Michigan citizens who were sentenced to life in prison...
December 18, 2009
Michigan’s successful efforts to reduce its statewide prison population by more than eight percent during the past two years while at the same time improving...
April 23, 2009 Criminal Justice
These intimate profiles of individuals who were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole as children illustrate the importance of reforming Michigan...
March 30, 2009 Criminal Justice
UPDATE: (March 31, 2009) The ACLU of Michigan is happy to announce that Edwina Nowlin was released today after being represented by the ACLU at  an emergency...
February 03, 2009 Immigrant Rights
Tonight Governor Jennifer Granholm will deliver the State of the State address, outlining her agenda and priorities for 2009. You don’t have to be a Rhodes...
December 09, 2008
In oral arguments today, the American Civil Liberties Union urged the Michigan Appeals Court to allow it to proceed with a class action lawsuit that seeks to...
December 04, 2008
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan applauded the State House of Representatives today for passing a package of bills (HB 4402 –HB 4405) that would...
September 11, 2008
Today, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security is scheduled to hold a hearing on a bill that would help end the practice of...
March 12, 2008 Due Process
A federal jury today found the Saginaw County Jail responsible for the egregious and unconstitutional treatment of detainees and awarded 4 plaintiffs $145,000...
January 23, 2008
At a hearing today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan along with the Michigan Catholic Conference and dozens of juvenile justice supporters urged...
January 22, 2008
The Michigan House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. to address a package of bills (HB4402 –HB4405) that would prohibit the...
June 01, 2007
This 66-page packet condemns sentencing minors to life without the possibility of parole through extensive research. Seeking to resolve this injustice, the...
January 25, 2007 Prisoner Rights
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan lauded a federal judge’s ruling striking down a 2000 amendment to the state civil rights law that stripped...
December 08, 2006 Due Process
The American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project and two Ann Arbor civil rights attorneys, Patricia Streeter and Michael Barnhart, today lauded a...
July 18, 2006
The American Civil Liberties Union and over forty other non-governmental organizations appeared today to monitor testimony delivered by the United States...
February 22, 2006
The national American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan today filed a petition urging the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to rule that...
October 25, 2005
One year after the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan released their report, “Second Chances,” which calls attention to the over 300 juveniles living...
September 07, 2005
Less than a week after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against top U.S. officials demanding the release of a long-time U.S. resident, the...
August 31, 2005
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today in Washington, D.C. against top U.S. officials demanding the release of a legal permanent resident of...
May 02, 2005
Though the Saginaw County sheriff claims that a policy of stripping and holding pre-trial detainees naked in a segregated cell has ended, there is now evidence...
September 14, 2004
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan released a report today to call attention to the growing number of juveniles living out life sentences in...
August 03, 2004
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit late yesterday on behalf of the organization and three individuals, including former Michigan...
July 20, 2004 Criminal Justice
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan asked the Michigan Supreme Court today to hear a case of a Catholic man who was criminally punished for not...
March 09, 2004
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan spoke out against a newly proposed constitutional amendment to reinstate the death penalty in Michigan debated...
January 01, 2004
This 32-page publication chronicles the issue of sentencing children to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) in Michigan.
April 08, 2003 Criminal Justice
At the urging of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) will no longer identify prisoners as homosexual...
January 21, 2003
In a lawsuit that may impact thousands of Michigan citizens, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is charging that Michigan prison officials and the...
May 22, 2002 Criminal Justice
Today the ACLU of Michigan, in a letter to district court judges across the state, requested that steps be taken to free prisoners who were either convicted on...
March 14, 2000 Women’s Rights
Today the ACLU of Michigan filed a federal class action lawsuit challenging the treatment of women prisoners at the Livingston County jail. Significantly, the...
This 8-page booklet explores the practice of sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the context of international human...
These intimate profiles of individuals who were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole as children illustrate the importance of reforming...
Despite a loss in the U.S. Supreme Court today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan remains hopeful that the Supreme Court eventually will strike...
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, who filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit, hailed the Court of Appeals decision as justice at its best.  “The...
Representing Michigan prisoners, the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project filed objections to MDOC’s legal mail policy that was revised...
In a searing opinion today, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court ruling that restrictions on prison visitation imposed in 1995 violated...
The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that a new print advertisement will run in targeted congressional districts, calling on the 110th Congress...