Here is a piece posted on “Ella’s Voice” from our friends at the Ella Baker Center. They are co-sponsoring a bill SB 1506 (Leno) that would treat drug possession for personal use as a misdemeanor rather then a felony. The bill would save the state tremendous amounts of needed resources, and take a step towards a more rationale response to drug use. As we know from the hundreds of families we have seen torn apart from overly punitive sentencing from drug charges, this bill could literally change the fate of families across the state. Check out the testimonial below.
By “Emily J” — It took me years to understand, but my history of drug addiction was a way to avoid dealing with issues I had. While I was in prison for a drug-related crime, my mother died. Then, my son was killed. I was devastated. No mother should ever have to go through what I went through. At that point, I decided I would do whatever it takes to overcome my addiction. I made a clean start. I moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone and focused on staying sober and finding work. Continue reading
With the Stanford Immigrants Rights Clinic, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Youth United for Community Action, ACLU North Peninsula Chapter, Comite de Padres Unidos, and Nuestra Casa, we at Silicon Valley De-Bug have helped lead efforts to stop San Mateo County Probation’s practice of juvenile ICE holds in San Mateo County. Families have come to De-Bug seeking support for their son’s or daughter’s cases where they have been caught up in juvenile hall and then sent to immigrant detention centers across the country — youth as young as 13. For the last four years, we’ve seen an increase in this number of families like no other, beginning with one mother from East Palo Alto who was so distraught at the thought of her 16 year old daughter being deported back to a country that she left when she was 3. We learned that it was her PO who reported her to ICE, and initially, we thought it was a mistake. But it turned out to be the complete opposite — this was actually routine practice. In fact, San Mateo County is the second highest referrer of juveniles to ICE in California — second only to Orange County, according to statistics obtained by Immigrant Legal Resource Center from the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
As part of the coalition’s efforts in the last nine months, we at De-Bug created this page, www.stopdeportingyouth.com, to highlight not just the practice of referring youth to ICE, but the strong stance that a broad-based coalition has taken to urge our county to do otherwise. We believe San Mateo County can do better. Submission Post by Charisse Domingo
Click here or on the picture below to take you to the site.
In October 2010, local San Jose student Yasir Afifi found out that the FBI was secretly tracking him when he discovered a GPS device in his car. It turned out he was being investigated for about 3-6 months for terrorist activities, all of which he completely denied. On Monday, January 23, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that this kind of investigation was illegal, and police can’t track suspects by installing GPS technology without first obtaining a warrant. As Professor Donald Tibbs from Drexel University says, “The Supreme Court’s decision is an important one because it sends a message that technological advances cannot outpace the American Constitution.” Submission Post by Charisse Domingo
Warrant needed for GPS tracking, high court says
By JESSE J. HOLLAND and PETE YOST Associated Press
AP Photo/ Photo by PAUL SAKUMA
Posted: 01/23/2012 07:30:10 AM PST
Updated: 01/23/2012 06:43:42 PM PST
WASHINGTON—In a rare defeat for law enforcement, the Supreme Court unanimously agreed on Monday to bar police from installing GPS technology to track suspects without first getting a judge’s approval. The justices made clear it wouldn’t be their final word on increasingly advanced high-tech surveillance of Americans.
Indicating they will be monitoring the growing use of such technology, five justices said they could see constitutional and privacy problems with police using many kinds of electronic surveillance for long-term tracking of citizens’ movements without warrants.
While the justices differed on legal rationales, their unanimous outcome was an unusual setback for government and police agencies grown accustomed to being given leeway in investigations in post-Sept. 11 America, including by the Supreme Court. The views of at least the five justices raised the possibility of new hurdles down the road for police who want to use high-tech surveillance of suspects, including various types of GPS technology.
In the state of California, we are often told that prisons and incarceration are the most effective way to reduce crime. However, this recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union points to six “tough on crime” states including Texas, that have successfully reduced their prison population while simultaneously saving millions of tax dollars by reducing how much they spend on the prisons. They have accomplished this through a number of very reasonable reforms, such as quality rehabilitation programs for prisoners who are no longer a threat, ending mandatory minimum sentences, and reducing sentences for small amounts of marijuana possession, to name a few. — Post Submission by Ernest Chavez
NEW YORK, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Six states that reduced incarceration rates by focusing on parole or probation instead of prison time have cut costs without increasing crime rates, according to a report released on Tuesday. Continue reading
When ACJP attends ICE immigration court dates, we often saw people handcuffed, and treated like criminals for civil proceedings. ACLU is taking on their practice, by launching a lawsuit. According to the Associated Press article, the ACLU attorneys say, “say thousands of immigration detainees — even the elderly and people with physical or mental disabilities — are routinely forced to wear wrist shackles, belly chains and leg irons during the civil proceedings, even if they do not pose a flight risk or other possible danger.”
Three years after Department of Homeland Security first rolled out the “Secure Communities Program” which sent fingerprints of those accused of a crime at the moment of arrest from the jails to ICE, DHS reveals they never needed state consent to participate in the program anyway. Immigrant rights organizations are angry, yet are not surprised by DHS’s latest move — which many feel is just part of their business-as-usual tactic to skirt transparency and ultimately deport undocumented immigrants at all costs.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2011
CONTACT: Cynthia Bell, (202) 675-2312; firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been able to cite only one statutory provision to support its position: 8 U.S.C. § 1722, part of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (EBSA). But EBSA does not authorize the federal government to commandeer states’ resources to screen individuals in state and local custody.
“Three years after introducing Secure Communities, DHS changed the rules of the game by setting aside all the agreements that states negotiated in good faith. Today’s announcement is the latest in a long line of deceptive DHS theatrics and is an insult to governors and state leaders who signed these agreements, which now amount to nothing more than the paper they’re printed on. DHS has recklessly inflicted S-Comm on states and localities across the country without any legal justification for the program,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.