Campaign for Fair Justice/Smart Justice

The Campaign for Smart Justice focuses its work on the “front end” of the criminal justice system—from policing to sentencing— seeking to end excessively harsh criminal justice policies that result in mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and racial injustice and that stand in the way of a fair and equal society.

Click Here to Learn More About Fair Justice/Smart Justice Michigan

Our fight is for statewide reforms to police practices, indigent defense systems, disproportionate sentencing and government abuses of authority in the name of fighting crime. We are also seeking alternatives to drug policies that have failed to achieve public safety and health while putting an unprecedented number of people behind bars. In addition to working to reverse the tide of over-incarceration, we also seek to protect constitutional rights, eliminate racial disparities, and increase government accountability and transparency.

August 26, 2016 SORA, sex offender registry

On Aug. 25, a federal appeals court unanimously declared that portions of the Michigan sex offender registry are unconstitutional because they effectively...

DETROIT — Striking a major blow against unconstitutional “pay or stay” sentencing practices, the Macomb County Circuit Court entered a final order yesterday...

For decades, leaders in the state have recognized that Michigan’s system of representing poor individuals accused of crimes is broken. Michigan provides no...

Detroit — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the Michigan law denying legal representation to poor people in a criminal appeal is unconstitutional. The...

No related Legislation

A little more than a year ago, the ACLU of Michigan’s Racial Justice Project convened an important ...

August 25, 2016 sex offender registry, SORA

CINCINNATI—A federal appeals court unanimously declared today that portions of the Michigan sex offender registry are unconstitutional because they...

NOTICE ABOUT FOOD LOST DUE TO POWER OUTAGES:  If you lost food purchased with back benefits you received from this lawsuit, you must file...

BATON ROUGE — Details surrounding the shooting last night of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, continue to emerge. In reaction,...

LANSING—In a severe blow to the illegal “pay-or-stay” sentencing practices being challenged by the ACLU of Michigan and other groups, the state Supreme...

DETROIT — Striking a major blow against unconstitutional “pay or stay” sentencing practices, the Macomb County Circuit Court entered a final order yesterday...

Hopeful, promising change is in the works for children in Michigan's criminal justice system being sentenced as adults. Currently being vetted in the...

Matthew Bentley was 14 years old in 1997 when he broke into a house he thought was unoccupied. While rummaging for valuables, he was confronted by the owner...

Constitutional protections should not be guaranteed to only those who can financially afford them. And yet there is an ongoing crisis in Michigan's indigent...

December 02, 2015 pay-or-stay, debtors prisons

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is lauding a state Supreme Court proposal that could end unconstitutional "pay-or-stay" sentencing practices...

ACLU at the Michigan Capitol – November 2, 2015

Bipartisanship is flourishing lately. Not so much among our elected officials –...

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October 30, 2015

 

CONTACT: Darrell Dawsey, ACLU of Michigan, 313-578-6831;...

David Stojcevski died, gasping for breath, naked on the cement floor of his cell at the Macomb County Jail, while his jailors watched the life ebb out of...

DETROIT—Concerned over potential civil-rights violations in the grisly death of Macomb County Jail inmate David Stojcevski, the ACLU of Michigan in a letter...

MIDLAND – Michigan’s civil forfeiture laws, which enable law enforcement agencies to gain possession of...

January 01, 2015

The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that it is unconstitutional to jail a person for failure to pay a debt that she or he cannot afford. However, the ACLU...

August 19, 2015

Concerned that indigent defendants in the Detroit suburb of Eastpointe are being tossed into “debtors’ prison” for their inability to pay court fees and...

December 22, 2014 Heros

Every year, the ACLU of Michigan works on hundreds of legal cases and pieces of legislation that touch lives all over the state.

Through cases...

April 05, 2006 Flint

While the charges against the 93 drug-free young people arrested at a Flint nightclub have not yet been thrown out, the American Civil Liberties Union of...

Detroit — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the Michigan law denying legal representation to poor people in a criminal appeal is unconstitutional. The...