Bullies in Blue: The Origins and Consequence of School Policing

Under the auspices of protecting children, we have accepted the infringement of law enforcement into one of the most important civic institutions: our schools. Once in schools, the scrutiny and authority of law enforcement are turned upon schoolchildren themselves, the very group that’s supposed to be protected. This report is intended to shed light on the origins of school policing as well as the real and devastating consequences of education under law and order. Over the past 50 years, … [Read more...]

Gang Database Criticized for Denying Due Process May Be Used for Deportations

Peter Arellano was standing on the street with his father last year when an officer from the Los Angeles Police Department handcuffed him, supposedly for vandalism a few blocks away. Before asking him for any information about the incident, the police officer asked him for his gang moniker, Mr. Arellano said. He told the officer he had none. But moments later, Mr. Arellano was served with a gang injunction, restricting where he could go in public and with whom. “There wasn’t a chance to argue … [Read more...]

The District Attorney Reports to You. Find Out How.

Find out where Los Angeles District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, stands on the issues that matter most. Moderated by KPCC's Frank Stoltze, the Town Hall will provide an opportunity to hear DA Lacey answer questions prepared by community and civil rights organizations and to ask her your own. DA Lacey may be running unopposed but she is still reports to you. Come get the answers you need to hold her accountable. RSVP HERE CHILDCARE AVAILABLE. Please email jfarris@aclusocal.org if you will need … [Read more...]

Making Things a Little Fairer in California, One Bill at a Time

California now has some of the strongest protections against policing for profit in the country Working with a broad coalition of racial justice, immigrants’ rights, labor, and civil libertarian organizations, we sponsored and passed SB 443, a bill to rein in civil asset forfeiture abuse. For years, California police have used federal law to take and keep a share of someone’s money or property without convicting, charging, or even arresting that person for a crime. This tipped the scales of … [Read more...]

Urge Gov. Brown: End Asset Forfeiture Abuse

A long hard effort by over 300 organizations, including Justice Not Jails, has now succeeded in passing SB 443--Sen. Holly Mitchell's bill that would curb abuses of civil asset forfeiture by police agencies--through both chambers of the legislature. Just as a reminder why SB 443 is necessary: the police currently have the power to take anyone's assets (cash, car, boat, home) merely on suspicion and with no due process or conviction of wrongdoing. Most victims of this abuse are low-income … [Read more...]

Prop. 47 Working? Depends Whom You Ask

The premise behind the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, or Proposition 47, overwhelmingly approved by California voters in November 2014, was simple: Reduce the penalties for nonserious, nonviolent offenses such as drug possession and minor theft and pass along the savings from less-crowded prisons and jails to programs that would reduce recidivism and crime and help victims. But nothing about Prop. 47 has been simple in the 21 months since then. As intended, the law has prevented … [Read more...]

Communities Not Jails

Where we spend our money says a lot about our priorities. That’s why California’s legislature must reject the governor’s plan to spend $250 million more taxpayer dollars to build new jails. Since 2007 alone, the state has spent $2.2 billion on jail construction. That’s quite enough — especially when we know that investing more in prevention and treatment is far more affordable and effective at breaking the cycle of incarceration. The quarter of a billion dollars proposed in this year’s budget … [Read more...]

California Jails Neglect Inmate Reproductive Health Care

ACLU of CA Report Finds Reproductive Health Abuses in California Jails The ACLU of California today released a report that finds county jails are putting people’s health at risk by denying, delaying, and ignoring crucial reproductive health care. The report Reproductive Health Behind Bars in California shines a light on the lack of adequate care and provides a blueprint for change. It’s informed by a review of written policies from a geographically diverse sample of jails throughout … [Read more...]

This Surveillance Software Is Probably Spying on #BlackLivesMatter

e just got a pile of public records from the police department in Fresno, California. They show that in the last two years, Fresno police have been using several different brands of social media surveillance software – all without the public’s consent. What’s worse, the ACLU has discovered that Fresno police have been using an especially offensive piece of software called MediaSonar, which encourages the police to identify “threats to public safety” by tracking #BlackLivesMatter-related … [Read more...]

ACLU to Justice Department: Don’t Give LAPD Money for Body Cameras

Citing "deep reservations" with the LAPD's body camera policy, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union urged federal officials on Thursday not to give the department money to buy more of the devices. The ACLU's 11-page letter sent to Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning was the latest in which the organization has voiced its concerns about how the Los Angeles Police Department cameras — and their footage — will be used. A key issue: The LAPD has said it doesn't intend to make … [Read more...]