In addition to ending mass incarceration, we must recognize the rights and dignity of people who remain incarcerated. The ACLU-NJ works to ensure that prisons, jails, and detention centers in New Jersey comply with the Constitution, other state and federal laws, and human rights principles. Overcrowding, isolation, inadequate services, and physical and sexual violence, among other inhumane conditions, pose grave risks to the health and safety of incarcerated people, and discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality, and disability remains far too common.
ACLU-NJ advocacy has led to New Jersey making nationally significant strides forward in the treatment of people in prisons, jails, and detention centers. New Jersey passed legislation to drastically limit solitary confinement after years of ACLU-NJ campaigning, and in 2021, ACLU-NJ litigation led to groundbreaking changes in how the state prison system recognizes and protects transgender, intersex, and non-binary people in custody. The ACLU-NJ continues to work to ensure fair implementation of those reforms and to mitigate the harms associated with incarceration.