2015 July

  • 07.31.15

    Gerrymandering: A Look at Ohio

    Ohio Congressional District Map 2012-2022 - from Ohio Secretary of State website
    Ohio Congressional Districts Map, Ohio Secretary of State

    Democracy fails to work when its people are not represented fairly and equally.

    But when one looks at the Ohio Congressional Map (full size) through the lens of two colors—red for Republicans and blue for Democrats—the complicated lines make sense.

  • 07.27.15

    Transparency Is Key for Police Body Cameras

    Body Cameras

    In a trend I hope will last, the public is paying much more attention than it once did to how law enforcement operates.  As a result, on any given day there are various community discussions, debates, and media analyses on topics, such as uses of force, racial profiling, targeting of communities of color, and police militarization.

  • 07.25.15

    Does Ohio Need a Police Shooting Database?

    Lights on top of police car - police in background

    There has been recent public outcry about the disproportionate interactions with law enforcement in communities of color. To better understand what’s happening, Ohio could make use of a centralized database that would document instances of excessive force, lethal and non-lethal.

    Earlier this year, two criminal justice students at Sinclair Community College in voiced support for a database that specifically would document instances of police shootings.

  • 07.23.15

    Why Ohio Needs The Fair Hiring Act

    The ACLU of Ohio strongly supports reforms to help people with criminal convictions find jobs. We believe in breaking down barriers to re-entry so that individuals can lead successful lives after prison.

  • 07.20.15

    Ears in the Air Pose Fourth Amendment Risk

    Privacy Glass Ohio

    When “eyes in the sky” are mentioned, we generally don’t give these spy satellites much thought because, after all, we can’t see them, they’re way up in space, and they’re not focused on us, right?

    Spies Much Closer to Us

    But the “friendly skies” a few hundred feet over us actually may not be so friendly after all.

  • 07.17.15

    A Victory for Transparency

    Ohio Supreme Court in session
    Photo by Supreme Court of Ohio

    For a person paying thousands upon thousands of dollars a year to a university, which has the responsibility to mold and educate them, transparency might seem like a simple request. However, for many private institutions across the country and in Ohio, right-to-know standards have not been the norm.

  • 07.15.15

    Facing the Legacy of the War on Drugs in Ohio

    Cost of Drugs

    Over four decades since President Nixon first declared a War on Drugs, the United States continues to struggle with rampant racial inequalities in sentencing people who use drugs. In order to have a system that treats all people equally and justly, we must retreat from the failed policies of the past and end the system of mass incarceration for people convicted of low-level drug offenses.

  • 07.14.15

    A Day in Drug Court

    Drugs and Handcuffs

    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.

  • 07.10.15

    Then and Now: Censoring Employee Speech

    Free speech graffiti

    The ACLU has always protected freedom of speech. Throughout history this has dealt with issues that were, at that time, considered uncomfortable.

    Our future leaders, millennials, have been identified as the most socially liberal generation yet. So as social conscience is changing, uncomfortable issues are becoming comfortable, and those on the wrong side of history will be pushed out of the mainstream of our national zeitgeist.

  • 07.08.15

    The Economic Impact of Immigration: A Look at Ohio

    Justice for Immigrants

    In America, 11 million undocumented immigrants are living on the outskirts of society.  Of those 11 million, 95,000 live in Ohio. Many of these immigrant have been in the United States for more than 10 years and they have been waiting for a legal pathway to citizenship.

  • 07.06.15

    My Interview With a Corrections Officer

    Prison fence

    Often, when we as a society talk about reforming our criminal justice system, it’s about finding jobs for individuals released from prison or diverting them to treatment in the first place. Rarely do we focus on the conditions of incarceration and its impact on people once they’re released.

  • 07.03.15

    Abortion: People Versus Politicians

    Woman in hospital gown seated on exam table

    According to a recent Gallup poll, half of Americans now call themselves pro-choice. Looking at gender, 54 percent of women and 46 percent of men identify as that way.

    The current numbers are the result of a trend of increasing identification with being pro-choice since 2012.