"Everyone has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life..."
--President Jimmy Carter
The Bill of Rights covers all Americans, including suspects, defendants, offenders and prisoners. All too often, the rights of those involved in the criminal justice system are compromised or ignored. The ACLU fights unconstitutional conditions in our local prisons and jails and the "lock 'em up" mentality that prevails in Congress and state legislatures. Our guiding principle is that even though prisoners are deprived of liberty they are still entitled to basic human rights.
South Dakota Criminal Justice System
The ACLU of SD is principally concerned with the over-incarceration and lack of proper health services for women and girls in the criminal justice system today. In the last 25 years, the number of women and girls caught in the criminal justice system has skyrocketed. Many of these women struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, and histories of physical and sexual abuse. Few get the services they need, including access to reproductive health services. The ACLU fights to ensure that the criminal justice system treats women and girls fairly regardless of race, that it protects the health and safety of women in its custody, and that it facilitates their successful reentry into their communities.