2015 April

  • 04.29.15

    Ohio Prisons, Solitary Confinement and Mental Illness

    Man alone in jail cell

    Let’s imagine…

    You are locked inside a room the size of your bathroom for 23 hours a day and let outside for one hour, but only when it’s warm and only in a cage the size of a walk-in closet. Your meals are eaten inside this room, and there is limited reading and television access.

  • 04.27.15

    Voter Registration: Ohio Needs to Join the 21st Century

    Polling Place

    This is the second article in the “Online for All” series.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 finds that “discriminations against individuals with disabilities” persist in critical areas, such as voting.  It stipulates that all state and local governments ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to government programs and services, as well as requires equally effective communications to these individuals.

  • 04.24.15

    Chains Hurt Children: The Harm of Restraints

    Young person with hands cuffed behind back

    This is the fifth in a series of posts on the topic of juvenile shackling.

    The automatic shackling or use of restraints on youth in juvenile court does not promote safety. Instead, it actually promotes humiliation, hurts children’s mental and emotional stability, and fails to teach youth the concept of respect.

  • 04.22.15

    Primetime: The Election Is Upon Us

    Voting Booth

    You’ve talked back to your television screen, held conversations with your newspaper, called your mother on the phone, or exchanged witty banter over the fence with your neighbor, but those taxes are still high and those roads are still dangerous. Maybe you should try voting in the upcoming primary election instead.

  • 04.20.15

    Name Game: Ohio Can’t Hide Solitary Confinement

    It doesn’t matter whether you call it local control, disciplinary control, administrative segregation, or restrictive housing, it’s extreme isolation. Putting people in solitary confinement is something the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed “physical and mental torture.”

    Since 2012, Ohio has operated a tiered system in which prisoners are given a level ranging from 5b down to 1.

  • 04.17.15

    Ohio Poised to Censor Crucial Guardianship Information

    Censorship Stamp

    Almost a year ago, The Columbus Dispatch began a series covering alarming gaps and abuse in Ohio’s guardianship system. It didn’t take long for lawmakers to respond and soon we had legislation to help bring reform in Ohio.

    Ohio House Bill (HB) 624, sponsored by Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-District 86) during the 2013-2014 legislative session, would have allowed for the distribution of a ward’s “bill of rights,” and to require that a guardian receive the Ohio Guardianship Guide, prepared by the Ohio Attorney General, and acknowledge its receipt.

  • 04.15.15

    A Legacy of Volunteers Defending Freedom

    Group of hands raised, in act of volunteerism

    Fighting for civil liberties is no simple task. In fact, it takes an army. It’s through the tireless efforts and contributions of volunteers throughout the past century that the ACLU has become the strong force it is today.

    The ACLU of Ohio benefits from hundreds of volunteers from various walks of life.

  • 04.13.15

    “Online For All” Makes All the Sense in the World

    Polling Place

    This is the first article in the “Online for All” series.

    Democracy will not thrive without recognizing the fundamental rights of all people.

    When it comes to voter registration, without undue difficulty, that’s especially true. Making this process workable for all requires taking action on behalf of those facing obstacles.

  • 04.10.15

    Is Being Alone Bad For You?

    Prisoner in cage, blindfolded

    Putting people in isolation is devastating and makes recovery next to impossible. If you didn’t have a mental illness going into isolation, it’s likely you will have one coming out.

    Research shows that prolonged solitary causes a persistent and heightened state of anxiety, nervousness, headaches, insomnia, nightmares, and confused thought processes.

  • 04.08.15

    Families Matter: Prison Phone Calls for Less Profit

    Coins and dollar bills

    Imagine that your child is hundreds of miles away and having to ignore their phone calls because you can’t afford to pay the bill. Imagine not being able to wish your father or mother a happy birthday. Imagine not being able to give your condolences following the death of a cousin.

  • 04.06.15

    Gay IS NOT the New Black

    Rainbow Flag

    Discrimination hurts people. It’s wrong for someone to look at you, your significant other or you family and say, “We won’t serve you here.”

    With the recent passage of Indiana’s RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), people are right to be outraged.

  • 04.03.15

    Ohio’s Voting Record: Ready to Strike Out or Hit a Grand Slam?

    Jon Husted

    It’s indisputable that voting is critical for Ohioans.

    We strive to make our communities a better place to live and to ensure that our democracy works for everyone. However, to do this, all our votes are crucial—for Ohio and the entire nation.

  • 04.01.15

    Obergefell v. Hodges: What’s Wrong With the State’s Argument?

    Supreme Court

    Ohio has urged U.S. Supreme Court justices to reject marriage equality by deferring to the “democratic process” that resulted in Ohio’s 2004 bans on the licensing and recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages.

    In the brief filed last week, Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine also reframed the litigation before the Court as a debate over “social change.”

    The state reliance on these two themes crumbles under closer examination.