DC employers are now prohibited from asking about criminal backgrounds during the application and interview process

December 19, 2014

The Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act, now in effect, prohibits employers from asking about criminal backgrounds during the application and interview process.

ACLU Urges D.C. Council to Oppose Corizon Contract

December 16, 2014

The ACLU of the Nation’s Capital (ACLU-NCA) strongly urges the D.C. Council to oppose the Corizon Correctional Healthcare contract (“Corizon”). The D.C. Office of Contracting Procurement awarded Corizon the new 5-year contract for health care at the D.C. Department of Corrections. The ACLU-NCA has serious reservations about this contract award because of Corizon's long history of providing substandard care to prisoners across the country.


December 12, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital (“ACLU-NCA”) announced today that the Congressional appropriations rider does not block enactment of Initiative 71 because it was already enacted according to District law. ACLU-NCA contends that personal possession of marijuana and home cultivation as outlined by Initiative 71 will no longer be criminal at the conclusion of the 60-day Congressional review period.

Join the ACLU at the National March Against Police Violence!

December 11, 2014

The ACLU will march against police abuse and racial profiling in DC on December 13, 2014. Join us!

We have less than 6 days to stop the DC Council from approving a contract to Corizon - one of the worst prison profiteers!

December 10, 2014

DC Office of Contracting Procurement has awarded Corizon the new 5-year contract for health care at our local jails. Corizon is a for-profit company that exclusively operates within correctional facilities. For-profit correctional healthcare is generally worrisome because concerns about profit margins incentivize cheaper, lower quality provision of care.

ACLU Urges Chief Lanier to Respect D.C. Ferguson Protesters’ First Amendment Rights

November 24, 2014

The ACLU of the Nation’s Capital understands the profound anger and frustration over the decision of the St. Louis County grand jury not to issue an indictment against Officer Wilson in the tragic killing of Michael Brown. In the wake of the grand jury announcement, policing of local protest activities should not be unnecessarily and aggressively executed and should respect the rights of protesters to peacefully assemble and organize.

Marion Barry, 1936-2014

November 23, 2014

The ACLU of the Nation's Capital joins thousands of DC residents in mourning the passing of Marion Barry -- the first National Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a civil rights activist dedicated to racial justice, and a DC Councilmember and former DC Mayor. We extend our deepest condolences to his family during this time.

ACLU-NCA to Council: Don't Wait to Implement Civil Asset Forfeiture Law

November 17, 2014

The ACLU of the Nation's Capital on Monday wrote to the Council to express one final concern about a bill that would significantly improve the District's civil asset forfeiture law: the date of implementation for one provision. Civil asset forfeiture is the process by which law enforcement agents seize millions of dollars from civilians, simply by asserting that they believe the money is connected to some illegal activity and without ever pursuing criminal charges. The ACLU-NCA strongly supports the implementation of these important and long overdue reforms. However, as currently drafted, the provision that would redirect funds seized pursuant to a federal law from going directly to the MPD and instead into the city's General Fund would not go into effect until 2018. "We think a four-year delay in implementing this important reform is unconscionable," wrote Arthur Spitzer, Legal Director for the ACLU of the Nation's Capital.

The Washington Post has dramatically illustrated the consequences of civil asset forfeiture in its ongoing "Stop and seize" investigative series. In the latest installment, the Post reported that the Metropolitan Police Department has budgeted for about $2.7 million in income from forfeitures through 2018, "even though federal guidelines say 'agencies may not commit' to such spending in advance."

ACLU, ACLU-NCA, UNITED SIKHS File Suit after U.S. Army Bars Sikh Student from ROTC Due to Beard, Unshorn Hair, and Turban

November 12, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, and UNITED SIKHS filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Army for refusing to allow a Sikh student at Hofstra University to enlist in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program unless he shaves his beard, removes his turban and cuts his hair, in accordance with Army grooming and uniform regulations.

D.C. Passes Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiative

November 05, 2014

Passage of Initiative 71 is a historic victory for both local residents and the nation.  Initiative 71 is the country’s first marijuana legalization effort catalyzed by a movement for racial justice.  The ACLU report, "Behind the DC Numbers: The War on Marijuana in Black and White,"exposed staggering racial disparities in arrests for marijuana offenses despite equal usage rates between Black and white populations.  This report resulted in a double digit increase in support for legalization in the District and that increase in support is largely drawn from the African American communities. Today, the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital stands with the District in demanding an end to the failed war on drugs and we look forward to working with the DC Council to prepare a carefully thought out and sensible approach to marijuana reform for the District

Everyone can be great,
because everyone can serve.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.