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Criminal Justice

The Bill of Rights protects us against suspicionless searches and seizures. It guarantees due process to individuals who are accused of crimes and humane treatment to those who are incarcerated. The ACLU works to ensure that our criminal justice system indeed is just.

Logo of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice
Washington Needs Bail Reform:  No Money, No Freedom
Driven to Fail: Exposing the costs & ineffectiveness of Washington's most commonly charged crime

Topic Resources

News Release, Published: 
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Washington has joined the 3DaysCount initiative that highlights the harmful consequences that result when people who can’t afford to pay bail are forced to await their trial behind bars, and develops commonsense solutions.

Is My Client Eligible to Vacate an Adult Criminal Conviction?

Document, Published: 
Friday, May 5, 2017
Many people with a criminal record want to “expunge” or “clear” their criminal histories. While Washington law does not permit the destruction of adult, conviction records, some people may be eligible to “vacate” a conviction record, which allows them to legally claim that they were never convicted.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
Students, Not Suspects Highlights How School Policing Funnels Youth into School-to-Prison Pipeline
Published: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
A new ACLU report exposes how police in Washington's schools funnel youth into the school-to-prison pipeline.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
The ACLU-WA has filed a petition asking the Washington Supreme Court to direct the Grant County District Court to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that requires them to determine a person’s ability to pay court system debts known as Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) before imposing these debts. When courts impose LFOs on people who cannot afford to pay them, individuals remain trapped in debt, stuck in poverty, and tied to the criminal justice system. Although the suit focuses on Grant County, similar practices exist in many courts around the state.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 3, 2017
The ACLU of Washington has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Office of Public Defense (OPD)— the state agency responsible for public defense in Washington— for failing to enforce minimum standards of public defense in Grays Harbor County.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The State of Washington has paid over $12 million dollars in fines for failing to comply with a federal court’s order regarding timely provision of mental health services to those waiting for jail and for such services. The State of WA fined $12 million failing to comply with a federal court’s order regarding timely provision of mental health services to those waiting for jail.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, February 24, 2017
Taxpayers spent $1,316,203,624 on DWLS III enforcement between 1994 and 2015

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