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Update on the Petition for Extraordinary Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 14, 2020

PRESS RELEASE May 14, 2020 In a filing on Wednesday with the Utah Supreme Court, the ACLU of Utah, the Disability Law Center, and the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers requested voluntary dismissal of the remaining counties from the current lawsuit. This decision is based on new information related to COVID-19 policies and practices provided to the Court that demonstrates that most counties in Utah are now in substantial compliance with the petition's requested relief, which included releasing prisoners and taking additional safety measures.  

Our Public Comment on HB 3006 (COVID-19 Special Session)

Apr 15, 2020

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. Even amidst a national pandemic, it is crucial that we maintain fair and accessible elections. We applaud the Utah legislature for having the foresight to enact universal vote by mail in our state long before it became such an essential option for voters during this public health crisis. However, while the state and local government must take steps to protect the health and safety of voters and poll workers, we are concerned that HB 3006 will disproportionately disenfranchise low income voters, voters needing language and other assistance, rural voters and indigenous voters by eliminating in-person polling.

Shiny Surveillance Tech Fails Again

Apr 15, 2020

Utah’s short-lived attempt to question all travelers entering the state flopped not because of privacy concerns, but because of too much spam. But we still think it was a bad idea.

Extraordinary Petition About Utah Jails and Prisons

Apr 01, 2020

  On April 1, 2020, the ACLU of Utah, the Disability Law Center, and the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys filed a Petition for Extraordinary Relief with the Utah Supreme Court demanding that state correctional facilities increase the release of incarcerated individuals to avoid unnecessarily heightened risks of serious harm from the COVID-19 pandemic while also ensuring safety for our communities outside of correctional facilities.

2020 Legislative Wrap-up

Mar 26, 2020

The 2020 Legislative was unusual by all accounts, with a slow roll out of bills at the beginning, and the threat of Covid-19 changing lobbying practices at the end. Nevertheless, the ACLU was on Capitol Hill every day for 45 days, and covered a lot of ground! In 2020, we tracked 155 bills that impacted Utahn’s civil liberties, addressing topics from criminal justice to free speech to reproductive rights. We worked behind the scenes, in coalition with partners and in the pubic eye to pass legislation that promotes civil liberties, and to stop or amend harmful bills. The following is but a snapshot of some of our more high profile efforts.

PRESS RELEASE: COVID-19 Recommendations for Utah Sheriffs

Mar 26, 2020

PRESS RELASE: COVID-19 Recommendations for Utah Sheriffs March 26, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  The ACLU of Utah has called on all sheriffs in Utah to exercise their authority to protect the people who are, will soon become, and who may remain incarcerated during the current pandemic. Among the measures suggested are for sheriffs to: Ensure that their correctional facilities are as empty, safe, and clean as possible; Ensure that all facilities have adequate supplies of soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, and other hygiene products all provided free of charge. Implement procedures to care for those who become ill in their facilities, including: screening and testing of people for COVID-19, increasing access to medical care and removing all copays; obtaining access to the medication and equipment necessary to treat those who contract the virus; and immediately transferring sick patients to outside facilities for care when necessary; and putting into place non-punitive procedures for housing people who...

PRESS RELASE: COVID-19 and the Criminal Justice System in Utah

Mar 21, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: COVID-19 and the Criminal Justice System in Utah March 21, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dear Criminal Justice Policy Officials and Stakeholders, As the novel strain of coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, and as more public and private actors take drastic steps to combat this pandemic, we urge you to develop and implement holistic policies that align with guidance from public health experts and that will minimize the harm inflicted on people involved in the criminal legal system – and, by extension, the harm inflicted on broader communities. Like all other public agencies, all aspects of the system – from policing and pretrial through sentencing, confinement, and release – will come under intense scrutiny for how the system responds to this national public health crisis. As of yesterday, it was reported that COVID-19 has spread to prisons and a jail in the United States, infecting personnel and inmates. According to the...

Rely on Us, Now, More than Ever

Mar 18, 2020

Even though most of our staff is working remotely for the next two weeks, we are just as busy watching and protecting civil liberties in Utah. We are working on extending voting rights, protecting people in Utah's jails and prisons, and following up on the loose ends of the 2020 Legislative Session. And we are adapting our work and priorities to how COVID19 can impact civil liberties and your rights in Utah.  Here are ways you can contact and connect to the ACLU of Utah during the COVID19 shutdown:


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