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The ACLU of Utah Activist

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Every 25 Seconds?!

12 October 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
“Every 25 seconds someone is funneled into the criminal justice system, accused of nothing more than possessing drugs for personal use.” 

YES ON SIX Update: Commission finally has an executive director.

11 October 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
First, the good news: Utah has hired (finally) the first ever executive director of the new Indigent (Public) Defense Commission.

Remember That Prison Utah is Building?

21 September 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Yes, there IS going to be a new prison in Utah. That's (surprisingly) not necessarily bad news.

TAKE ACTION: Protect Utahns' private property

20 September 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
If we want to improve community trust in our police officers, we must reform how civil asset forfeiture is practiced in Utah.

Back to School Primer: Civil Asset Forfeiture

07 September 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
“Civil asset forfeiture." Trust me, the name makes the practice sound more boring - and less controversial - than it actually is!

A Constitution In Every Pocket

19 August 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
ACLU's free pocket Constitutions are back - get yours now and make sure you know your rights!

Guiding Principles for Juvenile Justice Reform

14 July 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
The ACLU of Utah and several community-based partner organizations have presented this document to Utah's Juvenile Justice Working Group, to help frame a recently-launched effort to improve Utah's juvenile justice system.

Protect Our Virtual Medicine Cabinets!

13 July 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
At the July 13 Legislative Interim Session, legislators reviewed an audit of Utah's Controlled Susbtance Database (CSD), and the impact of legislation passed in 2015 (with significant support from the ACLU of Utah) on use of that database by law enforcement. 

In Which a Utah Native Discovers the Irony of Calling Herself a "Utah Native"

30 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
I have to admit, my primary observation during much of my recent work trip to San Juan County was this: San Juan County, the sprawling and sparsely-populated rural county that takes up most of the Southeastern corner of our state, is stunningly beautiful.

Welcome (Home) to Brittney Nystrom, our new Executive Director

29 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
We are very excited to announce that the ACLU of Utah has selected Brittney Nystrom of Washington, D.C., as the organization's new executive director.

Supreme Court Issues a Victory For Women in Texas Abortion Case

27 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court strikes down both provisions of HB2, the Texas law aimed at shutting down women's access to safe and legal abortion services. Great news for reproductive rights and health care access for women!

UPDATE: ACLU's GRAMA request for body camera footage related to Abdi Mohamed shooting

16 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
The ACLU of Utah received an answer this week from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office in response to our Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) request for the body camera footage of, and other information related to, the shooting of 18-year-old Abdi Mohamed on February 28, 2016.

YES ON SIX Update: New Commission is Prosecutor Free!

15 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
We'll call it a victory: we've got a commission that approaches independence. 

ACLU Statement on Mass Shooting at Gay Nightclub in Orlando

13 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
We stand in solidarity with the LGBT community, which appears to have been the target of this attack.

You Can't Criminalize Poverty to "Solve Homelessness."

08 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
In our collective desperation to "solve homelessness," we sometimes forget that everyone - regardless of whether they have a home - has constitutional rights. Those rights must be taken into account when considering how to address issues related to poverty.

YES ON SIX: David's Story

06 June 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
After spending just one year as the sole public defender in a rural Utah county, David Van Dyke did not renew his contract.

Mentally ill prisoners need treatment. Not tear gas.

18 May 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
It is becoming more and more common to hear the sentiment, “People with mental illness need treatment, not jail time,” from policy makers, correctional administrators, legislators and even members of the general public.

Voter Access in San Juan County: Why It Matters So Much

04 May 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
In rural areas of Utah, serious voter disenfranchisement is happening - decades after the original Voting Rights Act meant to end such discrimination.

YES ON SIX: Harry's Story

02 May 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
“That looks like the guy who robbed me.” Those are the eight words that sent Harry Miller to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Why Race Matters: An Interview with Nubia Peña

19 April 2016 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2016 Spring Newsletter >> Nubia Peña is Program Coordinator for Racially Just Utah. Nubia will graduate from S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah in May 2016. She is also the founder and president of the Social Justice Student Initiative at the College of Law.  Formed from a series of discussions on racial issues, Racially Just Utah (RJU) has developed into a racially and ethnically diverse coalition with a mission to positively and proactively ensure racial equity in Utah. RJU is composed of organizations, service providers, students, parents, educators, attorneys, advocates, activists, and concerned community members. ACLU of Utah is proud to be a founding and supporting member.  Can you highlight what RJU accomplished in the past year? RJU partnered with the ACLU and Salt Lake Peer Court during the National Week of Action Against School Push-Out where we hosted a school-to-prison pipeline (STPP) awareness event for youth, educators, and parents. We also partnered to coordinate the 2nd Annual Youth Activism Leadership Conference where teens ages 12-18 attended workshops facilitated by longstanding and new upcoming leaders in our community.  RJU hosted our first annual “Breaking The Pipeline” Symposium at…