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Criminal Justice

The Bill of Rights protects us against suspicionless searches and seizures. It guarantees due process to individuals who are accused of crimes and humane treatment to those who are incarcerated. The ACLU works to ensure that our criminal justice system indeed is just.
Stop the school to prison pipeline
Washington Needs Bail Reform:  Download No Money, No Freedom
Driven to Fail: Exposing the costs & ineffectiveness of Washington's most commonly charged crime
The death penalty is arbitrary, unfair, and racially biased.  The ACLU of Washington argued before the Washington Supreme Court to end it.


Monday, June 29, 2015
Agreeing with an ACLU of Washington amicus brief, the Washington Supreme Court has reaffirmed that individuals have the right to criticize how police are handling a situation and that such criticism cannot be the basis of a criminal conviction for obstruction.  
Monday, June 22, 2015
In King County, the cost of keeping an inmate in jail is $192 a day, which translates into $70,000 annually. This means, the cost of holding a single individual in jail for a year greatly exceeds the $60,000 median household income of the citizens in King County who are paying to maintain the jail.   
Thursday, April 30, 2015
For years, with seemingly little to no oversight, the Naval Criminal Investigative Services has been monitoring vast amounts of non-military U.S. Internet traffic and communications, looking for evidence of criminal activity.
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Monday, April 27, 2015
The ACLU of Washington is urging the Washington State Supreme Court to reject a proposal to increase monetary penalties for traffic infractions, saying that doing so will unfairly burden the poor and people of color.
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Thursday, April 16, 2015
The Everett City Council last night voted 4-2 to reject laws on panhandling that the ACLU of Washington had criticized as unconstitutional and unnecessary. The ACLU today praised the City Council’s action.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The ACLU of Washington is urging the Everett City Council to reject proposals to restrict panhandling that it says are unconstitutional and unnecessary. The proposed amendments to city law are to be considered at a city council meeting this evening.
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Thursday, April 9, 2015
"Kennewick Police Officer Glenn Ball demonstrated the kind of behavior that no police chief should tolerate in his officers. The ACLU appreciates Chief Ken Hohenberg’s firm rebuke of the officer for his actions during the stop of Omar Abarca."
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015
An evaluation of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program has found that it is reducing recidivism rates for participants. Under LEAD, instead of prosecuting low-level drug and prostitution suspects, law enforcement officers divert them to treatment and other social services. 
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Friday, April 3, 2015
A federal judge has rebuked the State of Washington and ordered it to provide competency services speedily to people with mental illness in jails. The ruling came in a suit on behalf of incarcerated pre-trial detainees who have sat for weeks and months awaiting court-ordered services.
Monday, March 23, 2015
How do you turn $41 into over $2,000?  Courts across Washington and throughout the U.S. have figured out how to turn small fines for routine traffic violations and other non-violent infractions into major debts for individuals without the means to pay.  HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver recently examined this subject, noting the ways in which differences in race and income levels are creating two justice systems: one for the rich and one for the poor.