The American Civil Liberties of Arizona is a leader in the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice, a multiyear initiative aimed at reducing the U.S. jail and prison population by 50 percent and combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

The United States incarcerates too many people for too long and for the wrong reasons.

Imprisonment is a brutal and costly response to crime that traumatizes incarcerated people and hurts families and communities. It should be the last option, not the first. For the last four decades, this country has relentlessly expanded the size of its criminal justice system, needlessly throwing away too many lives and wasting trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Arizona simply cannot afford the current approach any longer. The result of incarceration is destabilization.  Arizona families and communities suffer the consequences. 

Join the campaign. 

Check out out booklist on criminal justice:

  • Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire by Angela Y. Davis
  • Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis
  • Incarceration Nation by Baz Dreisinger
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • A Colony In A Nation by Chris Hayes
  • Marked: Race, Crime, and finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration by Devah Pager
  • From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America by Elizabeth Hinton
  • Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King
  • Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney Lopez
  • Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People’s Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time by James Kilgore
  • Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari
  • Locked In by John Pfaff
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Sunbelt Justice by Mona Lynch
  • Hard Bargains: The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court by Mona Lynch, 2016
  • Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison by Nell Berstein
  • Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces by Radley Balko

Click here for the stories of three people whose experiences show the toll that an abusive and unjust criminal system takes on individuals, families, and communities.

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