Criminal Justice Reform

The ACLU protects the rights of people accused of crimes, who must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. We also protect the rights of convicted persons. We oppose harsh laws that do little to make our society safer from the criminal element. We filed a lawsuit regarding the abusive conditions of confinement at the Cook County temporary juvenile detention center. We filed another lawsuit regarding the rights of adult prisoners to receive a wide range of lawful reading materials that did not threaten prison safety. We oppose the death penalty. We oppose criminal laws that treat children as adults, for example, by imposing mandatory transfer of minors from juvenile court to adult court, or that require lifetime registration on the publicly accessible sex offender registry based on crimes committed as a youth. We also oppose laws mandating DNA extraction from persons arrested but not convicted.


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