Racial Justice

Extend constitutionally guaranteed rights to those who have historically been denied them

Racial bias and inequalities are obstacles to a just society

The authors of the Declaration of Independence outlined a bold vision for America: a nation in which all people would be free and equal.

They then, and we now, remain flawed, but still aspire to that broad, not yet achieved goal.

Though generations of civil rights activism have led to important gains in legal, political, social, employment, educational, and other spheres, the forced removal of indigenous peoples and the enslavement of those of African descent marked the beginnings of a system of racial injustice from which our country has yet to break free.

From our public schools where students of color are too often confined to racially isolated, underfunded, and inferior programs to our criminal justice system that disproportionately targets and incarcerates people of color and criminalizes poverty, to the starkly segregated world of housing, the dream of equality remains elusive.

Through the courts, legislatures, and community activism, we strive to educate and empower the public on issues of race as it relates to criminal justice, economic justice, and inequality in education, and on affirmative action.

News

California Lawmakers Pass Historic Bill Abolishing Copays in Jails and Prisons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 9, 2019 Press Contact: Daisy Vieyra, dvieyra@acluca.org, 916-824-3266 Ashley Chambers, ashley@ellabakercenter.org, 510-417-6071 Sacramento, CA – Today, the California Senate... Read More

Police Practices

California is About to Enact One of the Strongest Laws to Prevent Police Shootings

California is About to Enact One of the Strongest Laws to Prevent Police Shootings By Jennifer Rojas California families impacted by police violence, advocates, and allies just made history. Today, Governor Gavin... Read More

Legislative

California’s Justice System is a Debt Trap

By: Adrienna Wong Erica Smith was making a fresh start. After being forced out of her home by domestic violence, she had spent the last three years cycling between homelessness and jail for petty offenses. But with... Read More

Criminal Justice and Drug Policy

Stop Criminalizing Adolescent Behavior (AB 901)

In far too many places across California, juvenile probation has become a knee-jerk reaction to young people who are simply having trouble in school or at home but who haven’t been accused of a crime. Criminalizing... Read More

Legislative

Repeal Sentence Enhancement for Prior 1-Year Convictions (SB 136)

Although California has made significant strides over the years to address mass incarceration and racial bias and disparities in the criminal justice system, more needs to be done to move California forward and invest... Read More