Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, is a realistic optimist—a valuable trait for the rare dissenting voice against mass incarceration in the Ohio Statehouse.
Our powerful new report, Statehouse to Prison Pipeline 2017, sprang from Gary’s everyday experience listening to legislators, police and prosecutors as they earnestly justify destructive policies: sending more people to prison, for more reasons, for longer periods.
On Friday, January 27, ACLU of Ohio senior policy director Mike Brickner spoke to participants at a symposium on criminal justice reform, which was held at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Brickner touched on a familiar but too often ignored problem: Ohio’s growing prison population.
As part of our “tough on crime” mentality, many elected officials and members of the public have supported the belief that people convicted of serious violent crimes are deserving of death, yet few of us look beyond the crime to see how these sentences are handed down.
Sentenced to ten years, out in two. Outrageous!
The myth that prisoners serve small fractions of sentences is one of the most destructive falsehoods driving the tragedy of mass incarceration. In Ohio and elsewhere, the use of parole and probation has shrunk to levels that can only be described as harmful to us all.
After bringing the legendary Selma marches to the big screen, Ava Duvernay returns with a new Netflix documentary, 13th, telling the true story behind the 13th amendment. Passed in 1865, it declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The amendment was one of the most important in history, yet its wording enabled slavery to evolve in America, allowing discrimination against African Americans to continue within our justice system.
By Shakyra Diaz
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Drug Court with fellow ACLU intern, Kyra Schoonover. It certainly was an eye-opening experience for both of us.
How It Works
Before the proceedings began, we met with the judge.
By Shakyra Diaz
Imagine what would happen if people of different walks of life decided that they were done with the insanity of mass incarceration and the War on Drugs. Imagine if people proclaimed that they were tired of:
» Criminalizing people unnecessarily.
» Tough on crime laws that do nothing to improve safety.
By Shakyra Diaz
“The United States will never be able to prosecute or incarcerate its way to being a safer nation,” said last week U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, at a conference held by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.
By Nick Worner
“I didn’t realize, while I was on the bench that when I sentenced someone to 5-6 years I was sentencing them to life”. Those are the words of former Stark County Common Pleas Judge Harry Klide, who sat with me recently to discuss criminal justice reform.