chklt_prison_100: Prisons

The population in American prisons and jails has tripled in the past 15 years with the predictable consequence that facilities are overcrowded; medical systems are overwhelmed; work, education, and treatment programs are inadequate; and idleness and stress lead to greater levels of violence. We have fought and continue to fight these conditions through successful litigation on behalf of prisoners.

Legal Cases

  • Mitchell v. Parole Board
    Amicus participation in appeal of parole denial for a prisoner with developmental disability.
  • Libertarians for Transparent Government v. Cumberland County
    Amicus brief in a case asking whether a public entity may, under OPRA’s personnel records exemption, withhold separation agreements with an employee relating to that employee's disciplinary investigation.
  • Kevin Stout v. New Jersey Board of Parole
    Appeal of Parole Board’s decision denying parole because a person "lacks insight into his criminal behavior" that occurred four decades.
  • Sonia Doe v. NJ Department of Corrections
    Challenge under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and New Jersey Constitution to the Department of Corrections' mistreatment of a woman because she is transgender, including housing her for over a year and a half in men’s prisons.
  • Arriaga Reyes, et al. v. Decker, et al.
    Habeas corpus petition seeking release from ICE custody on behalf of five individuals held at the Hudson County and Bergen County Jails based on their medical vulnerabilities to COVID-19.
  • Salazar, et al. v. Tsoukaris, et al.
    Habeas corpus petition seeking release from ICE custody on behalf of two individuals held at the Essex County Correctional Facility based on their medical vulnerabilities to COVID-19.
  • Wragg, et al. v. Ortiz, et al.
    Federal habeas class action on behalf of people confined at FCI Fort Dix who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • State v. Jackson
    Amicus brief arguing that prosecutors must secure a warrant in order to obtain recorded jail calls.
  • Abdur-Raheem v. New Jersey Department of Corrections
    Challenge to the DOC policy prohibiting outgoing calls to cell phones.
  • Pangemanan et al. v. Tsoukaris et al.
    The ACLU-NJ filed a federal class action lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order halting the deportations of Indonesian Christian residents of Central Jersey.

Legislative Efforts

  • Marijuana Legalization
    Legalizes possession and personal use of small amounts of Marijuana for persons age 21 and over.
  • Medical Parole Expansion
    Expands eligibility of medical parole to prisoners determined to be permanently incapable for performing basic daily functions of life and in need of 24-hour medical attention; creates presumption of release; requires medical parolees be provided assistance in applying for Medicaid upon release; requires Parole board to collect data on medical parole grants and denials.
  • Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Reform
    Raises the minimum age for waivers from 14 to 15; eliminates some less serious crimes from the list of offenses subject to waiver; creates presumption that waived juveniles remain housed with juveniles until age 21; provides right to counsel and enhances due process protections before juveniles can be transferred from juvenile detention centers to adult prisons; eliminates use of solitary confinement except to protect health, safety, or the operation of a facility; mandates data collection and public reporting regarding the use of waiver and solitary confinement.
  • Ending Prison-Based Gerrymandering
    Requires that the incarcerated persons be counted at their last known address before prison for political redistricting purposes, not the location where they are confined.

Stay Informed

Join the Action Alert e-mail list to stay informed about current issues and campaigns, upcoming events, and how you can get more involved in the fight to protect and expand civil liberties.

ACLU of New Jersey is part of a
network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National