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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
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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.

Resources

Published: 
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Earlier today, the ACLU of Washington joined a number of allies in the immigrant rights community, including El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria and CASA Latina, at a press conference in opposition to the ever-expanding Secure Communities (S Comm) program. The press conference was a response to the federal government's move last week, with very little fanfare or publicity, to activate the program for all counties in Washington. Here's why that's bad news for every community in Washington.
Published: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The ACLU of Washington’s offices are graced with moving and inspiring photos, including many of our past clients. Occupying pride of place in the ACLU conference room, however, is a vintage photo of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, April 4, 2012, marks the 44th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
Published: 
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Isn’t it time to stop this approach to criminal justice? Don’t we have better things to spend the money on? Inspired by David Letterman, here is our list of 10 Ideas for saving money by putting fewer people in prisons and jails, and being “smart” on criminal justice instead of simply being punitive.
Published: 
Friday, March 2, 2012
Aside from the jail time and fees and fines that may be imposed as part of a misdemeanor sentence, there can be life-long consequences of a misdemeanor charge. In connection with our work on criminal records issues, the ACLU has heard from numerous individuals denied housing or jobs because of a misdemeanor on their record.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The U.S. District Court in Seattle has rejected a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the cities of Mt. Vernon and Burlington over their failure to provide legal representation to poor people accused of misdemeanors. The court also granted the case class-action status.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
A lawsuit pending in U.S. District court is challenging the shockingly deficient public defense system in the cities of Mount Vernon and Burlington. The suit says that the cities fail to impose reasonable caseload limits on attorneys, fail to monitor the public defense system, and fail to provide adequate resources to the system.
Published: 
Monday, February 13, 2012
At Thursday’s joint Senate and House committee work session on the measure, four compelling witnesses testified in favor of this new approach. Substance abuse counselor and university professor, Roger Roffman. Retired public health director and former prison physician, Dr. Kim Thorburn. Former top U.S. prosecuting attorney for Western Washington John McKay. And retired high-ranking FBI official, Charles Mandigo.
Published: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
An important statewide Latino organization in Washington State has weighed in against gang injunction legislation in the state legislature. Here's what Latino Civic Alliance has to say.
Published: 
Monday, February 6, 2012
Gang violence is a serious problem, and we need smart solutions. But proposed legislation promotes use of court injunctions that could sweep up innocent individuals and send them to prison. And its bogus due process procedures may not even alert people until after the court order binding them has been issued. This approach has failed elsewhere. Tell your legislators to reject this misguided measure in Washington state.
Published: 
Friday, January 27, 2012
Since the turn of the century, juvenile courts have been separate from adult courts. The goal of juvenile courts, as the Supreme Court recognized over 50 years ago, is to determine how to rehabilitate juveniles and “save [them] from a downward career.” To further these goals, juvenile court records have historically been shielded from public view. This system allows juveniles to enter adulthood without being publicly labeled as criminals.

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