The ACLU of Utah Activist
On August 14, 2017, joint agencies from Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County and the State of Utah began a collaborative effort in the downtown Salt Lake City neighborhood of Rio Grande, ostensibly to reduce crime. Over a month into implementation of “Operation Rio Grande,” the ACLU of Utah has seen very little to change our original assessment that this law-enforcement-heavy effort is “business as usual.” Now, somewhere between the second and third phase of implementation, this operation appears to rely simply on more of the same ineffective attempts to control the complex social issues of poverty, substance use disorder and mental illness.
Just like every other state in the U.S., Utah has an incarceration problem. On any given day, thousands of Utahns can be found behind bars, locked up in prison and jail facilities. In 1978, just 66.6 out of every 100,000 people in Utah were behind bars, serving time in either state prison or county jail. By 2015, the incarceration rate shot up to 216.7 per 100,000 people – that is more than triple the rate less than forty years before.
Take Action with the ACLU of Utah to dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline!
Check out our first ever report on state legislation that criminalizes behavior and enhances penalties, contributing to "Utah's Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline"!
UPDATE: Check out the ACLU of Utah's October 2018 report, "Calculating the Real Cost of Operation Rio Grande"-- to learn why we believe Operation Rio Grande was a "hurried and heavy-handed response" that prioritized arrests and detentions over treatment and housing, and has left thousands of city residents much worse off than they were before. Download the report (PDF) Watch the October 18, 2018 Panel Discussion (YouTube) After five weeks of implementation activity under the umbrella of this operation, the ACLU of Utah has seen very little to change our original assessment of this law-enforcement-heavy effort as “business as usual.”
The Somali-language version of our "New Laws in Utah about Juvenile Justice" brochure is now available!
The Spanish-language version of our "New Laws in Utah about Juvenile Justice" brochure is now available!
This week marks the SIXTH anniversary of the release of "Failing Gideon: Utah's Flawed County-by-County Public Defender System," the ACLU of Utah's report on Utah's failing county-by-county public defense system. How, if at all, have things changed?
The ACLU of Utah is thrilled to announce that MaríadelMar González, a local grassroots activist and community advocate, has been hired to fill a brand new position. She will assist our integrated advocacy efforts to advance our priorities at the state and local level while strengthening community connections and supporting coalitions in protecting civil rights and civil liberties for all people in Utah.
The ACLU of Utah has learned that the State of Utah is requesting comment from the public on new administrative rules about who can be admitted to juvenile detention facilities, and for what reasons.
This blog post is the first in a series of writings by Abed Alsolaiman about the Trump Administration's attempts to ban travel by refugees and others from predominantly Muslim countries, including Syria. Abed is an intern at the ACLU of Utah for the summer. In the fall, he will enter his senior year of high school at Rowland Hall in Salt Lake City.
We have a simple formula (overly simple, really) for explaining the issues the ACLU of Utah gets involved in.
On May 24, the ACLU of Utah and cooperating attorneys will be in court arguing about the constitutionality of Ogden’s so-called “gang injunction.” Again.
As Remick v. Utah, our lawsuit against the state of Utah over the sorry state of our public defense system, slowly moves forward, we bring you a couple updates from our Yes On Six! Campaign, as we work to realize the constitutional right to an attorney for all Utahns (not just those who can pay for one).