Criminal Law Reform

The Criminal Law Reform Project seeks to end harsh policies and racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Criminal Law Reform issue image

What you need to know

790%
The federal prison population has increased by almost 790 percent since 1980.
3.73
In the United States, a black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person is, despite approximately equal rates of use.
3,278
At least 3,278 people were serving life sentences without parole for drug, property, and other nonviolent crimes in 2012.

What's at Stake

The Criminal Law Reform Project (CLRP) focuses its work on the 鈥渇ront end鈥 of the criminal legal system鈥攆rom policing to sentencing鈥 seeking to end excessively harsh criminal justice policies that result in mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and racial injustice, and stand in the way of a fair and equal society.

By fighting for nationwide reforms to pretrial detention and surveillance, police practices, public defense systems, disproportionate sentencing, prosecutorial and/or judicial abuses of authority in the name of public safety, and failed drug policies which have failed to achieve public health while putting an unprecedented number of people behind bars, CLRP is working to fundamentally change the punishment bureaucracy by reversing the tide of incarceration, protecting constitutional rights, eliminating racism, and increasing government accountability and transparency.

More ACLUthe Criminal Law Reform Project

The Criminal Law Reform Project (CLRP) focuses its work on the 鈥渇ront end鈥 of the criminal legal system鈥攆rom policing to sentencing鈥 seeking to end excessively harsh criminal justice policies that result in mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and racial injustice, and stand in the way of a fair and equal society.

By fighting for nationwide reforms to pretrial detention and surveillance, police practices, public defense systems, disproportionate sentencing, prosecutorial and/or judicial abuses of authority in the name of public safety, and failed drug policies which have failed to achieve public health while putting an unprecedented number of people behind bars, CLRP is working to fundamentally change the punishment bureaucracy by reversing the tide of incarceration, protecting constitutional rights, eliminating racism, and increasing government accountability and transparency.

More ACLUthe Criminal Law Reform Project

{{ showFullContent ? 'Hide more content' : 'Expand to read more' }}
Support our on-going litigation and advocacy work