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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.

Logo of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice
Washington Needs Bail Reform:  No Money, No Freedom
Driven to Fail: Exposing the costs & ineffectiveness of Washington's most commonly charged crime

Topic Resources

Monday, July 25, 2016
A ruling by the Washington Supreme Court has undercut the effectiveness of a law intended to maintain the bonds between incarcerated parents and their children. The Legislature needs to act to make sure the law can still make a difference in the lives of children.
Friday, July 22, 2016
The State Supreme Court has found that Lakewood’s law banning panhandling in certain areas violates free speech rights. The ruling is a vindication of the rights of homeless people.
Friday, June 17, 2016
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Washington man sentenced to 18 years in prison under excessively harsh guidelines from the War on Drugs is eligible to seek a reduction in his sentence.
Friday, June 10, 2016
The ACLU-WA and allies have filed briefs in two cases before the Washington Supreme Court urging it to support a law designed to maintain the relationship between incarcerated parents and their children.

Frequently Asked Questions About Voting Restoration in Washington

Document, Published: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
The 2009 Washington Legislature passed a new law that restores the right to vote automatically to people with felony convictions when they have completed their time in prison and have served any required community custody supervised by the State Department of Corrections (DOC).

Voting Rights Restoration in Washington State

Document, Published: 
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Under Washington law, individuals convicted of felonies that have their right to vote automatically restored as soon as they have completed incarceration and any community custody required by the Department of Corrections. This brochure briefly explains the law and answers frequently asked questions.  
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The ACLU of Washington is glad that the U.S. Supreme Court today denied Nebraska and Oklahoma’s challenge to Colorado’s marijuana legalization and regulation law.