Worthwhile Criminal Justice Organizations

ACLU Capital Punishment Project (

The ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project fights valiantly for those on death rows across the United States. They monitor conditions of confinement and are often the last resort for the innocent who sit on death row with no other avenue of recourse.


ACLU National Prison Project (

The ACLU’s National Prison Project is dedicated to ensuring that out nation’s prisons, jails, juvenile facilities and immigration detention centers comply with the Constitution, federal law, and international human rights principles, and to addressing the crisis of over-incarceration in the United States.


ACLU Oregon (

ACLU Oregon is the Oregon branch of the ACLU. They are also a friends of

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The Death Row Inmate Project

What follows is the text from a very informative zine titled A Grassroots Anti-Death Penalty Social Network.

“The Death Row Inmate Project is a volunteer-based collaboration which continues to grow out of a call for global recognition of fallibilities within the capital punishment controversy, as well as wrongful convictions resulting from the death sentences from broken judicial systems here and abroad – executing innocent people.

This diverse grassroots organization provides a voice for the marginalized while catering to the demands of those who weep for societal change, dispelling horrific stigma while in pursuit of truth and equal justice, educating the people with an accurate flow of information, and working to remove the oppressive conditions on death rows around the world.

Born in the flames of adversity, even now, Death Row Inmates remains the direct product of the existential conflict of men and women alike on death row. It was formed to meet the needs of others like us, because no-one can better relate to captivity, than the captive himself. Think about that! From our tiny prison cells to yours (or that of a loved-one) between the caged will and intellect of your peers and the hearts and minds of our compatriots in the outside world, we hope to create a formidable alliance that works to transcend these dire circumstances. We’re staking our very lives on it!

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Inmates or Sardines?


By Sean Shively

The suspense in the courtroom is thick enough to cut with a knife. I am waiting for the jury to come back into the courtroom with their decision on my case. A door opens and the twelve jurors start filing towards their seats. My stomach starts to cramp and I feel nauseous. The jury takes their seats and a deathly silence permeates the courtroom. The absence of sound is so deafening that when the judge’s gavel hits his desk, the reverberation causes my heart to palpitate.

The judge turns to look at the head juror and asks, “Has the jury reached a verdict?” The head juror responds, “Yes, Your Honor, we have.” The judge then asks, “What is the verdict?” The head juror states, “We find that the defendant is guilty on all counts.” The judge turns his head and looks into my eyes. I feel sweat starting to bead on my forehead as the judge states, “You have been found guilty of Forgery, a class C felony.” He then asks me, “Are you ready to be sentenced at this time?” I respond, “Yes, Your Honor.” He looks down at his papers for a moment then he looks back up at me and states, “I sentence you to six years in the Department of Corrections.”

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Assisting Families of Inmates, Inc

Certainly being in prison is extremely challenging and life changing for incarcerated prisoners. But, think how difficult it is for families and children on the outside who have a family member or loved one locked up in prison? Very often, the incarcerated prisoner may have been the primary bread winner and sole source of income, adding huge financial stress on families. Children may not understand why their parents are behind bars and may receive peer bullying about having a parent in prison. And then there is the fact of how a family re-adjusts when the incarcerated prisoner is released into society.

In the state of Virginia, there is a program called Assisting Families of Inmates. Their primary mission is to help prevent the breakdown of relationships among inmates and their families. Assisting Families of Inmates provides education and counseling services, support and very importantly, a means for regular visitation-keeping the bond of relationship and family strong.

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