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As part of our work, the ACLU of Northern California issues reports, position papers and advocacy materials that study and note developments in civil liberties. Below is a listing of our publications.

Background of image is grey static. Text read in bold read and black: Seeing Through Surveillance - Why Policymakers Should Look Past the Hype

Seeing Through Surveillance: Why Policymakers Should Look Past the Hype

Jul 09, 2024
In recent decades, surveillance has increased exponentially. It has not made us safer. On the contrary, the explosion in AI means that surveillance systems will become more powerful and more dangerous every year. This guide makes the case for non-surveillance interventions, giving policymakers the resources they need to meet this moment. Read More
Reimagining Community Safety: Sacramento County cover

Reimagining Community Safety: Sacramento County

Dec 21, 2023
This joint report from ACLU NorCal and Catalyst California (formerly Advancement Project California) highlights strategies Sacramento County leaders should make to improve community safety and reduce systemic racial inequity in the criminal legal system. An analysis of 2019 data collected under California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) found that the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office ... Read More
Black Bill of Rights Community Toolkit

Black Bill of Rights: a Community Toolkit

Jul 06, 2022
In 2021, we partnered with the Black Bill of Rights to develop a community toolkit for people seeking to address systemic oppression and anti-Black racism. The Black Bill of Rights is a resource hub that provides education, templates, and data for communities to take action and develop policies and practices that restore freedom and opportunity for Black people in the United States. It is an ever-... Read More
An illustration of a woman kneeling on the left. On the right text reads, "Collusion in California's Central Valley" The Case for Ending Sheriff Entanglement with ICE

Collusion in California's Central Valley: The Case for Ending Sheriff Entanglement with ICE

Feb 09, 2022
Over the past decade, the California Legislature enacted a trio of critical laws intended to protect people from collusion between state and local law enforcement agencies and agencies engaged in immigration enforcement. Certain sheriffs and local law enforcement agencies, however, have circumvented these laws and undermined the protections envisioned for California immigrants — at times in consul... Read More
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In(Justice) in Sacramento: A Case for Change and Accountability

Jan 25, 2022
Sacramento County is an important jurisdiction for reform of the laws and policies that produce mass incarceration. The county incarcerates roughly 10,000 people between county jails and state prisons. The DA, Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department, and courts consume 64 percent of the County General Fund, yet the county’s crime rate — though slightly higher than the state and federal average ... Read More
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In(Justice) in Merced County: A Case for Change and Accountability

Jan 19, 2022
California and the United States as a whole incarcerate more people than anywhere else in the world, in both absolute and per capita terms1 District attorneys (DAs) in California can have a powerful role in curbing mass incarceration and hold tremendous discretion within the criminal legal system, but they have historically been subject to limited accountability. This report outlines the practices... Read More
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In(Justice) in Riverside: A Case for Change and Accountability

Dec 01, 2021
California District Attorneys (DAs) have historically used their legal discretion to prioritize aggressive “tough-on-crime” prosecution, which has caused incarceration rates to skyrocket and destroyed lives Even though they are elected officials, DAs are often not held accountable for these practices, in part, because their role is not well understood, and much of their work is hidden from the pub... Read More
A bench is to the right with text to the left that reads "Outside the Law"

Outside the Law: The Legal War Against Unhoused People

Nov 19, 2021
The plight of people who are unhoused has reached horrific proportions in California, but instead of embarking on a resurgence of affordable housing, communities have instead instituted policies and regulations that target unhoused people by harassing, citing, segregating, banishing, and even imprisoning them. Read More
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In(Justice) in Orange County: A Case for Change and Accountability

Nov 17, 2021
California district attorneys (DAs) have historically played a central role in driving incarceration. Although they are elected officials, DAs have not typically been held accountable by the public for policies and practices that perpetuate racial disparities and criminalize poverty, mental illness, and other social issues. This 2021 report outlines the policies and practices of the Orange County ... Read More
a hand holding a pen on the right and text that reads 'No Police In Schools'

No Police in Schools

Sep 23, 2021
Over the past few decades, police have become a dominant fixture in California schools. Their presence has devastating and discriminatory impacts on tens of thousands of California students. Read More
right to remain a student

The Right to Remain a Student: How CA School Policies Fail to Protect and Serve

Sep 22, 2021
A disturbing trend has emerged in California—police officers are stationed in schools and are replacing educators as disciplinarians for minor offenses and student behavior issues. Further, on-campus policing often results in over-criminalizing students—mostly low-income students of color—and pushes affected students out of the educational environment and into the school-to-prison pipeline. This i... Read More