Carl Takei

Carl Takei is a Staff Attorney at the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. He litigates prison conditions class action suits in federal court and performs state-based advocacy against overincarceration, including fighting unnecessary jail expansion projects and working to stop modern-day debtors’ prison practices in local courts and jails.

Articles by this author

A prison Views
Saturday, December 03, 2016
In Stunning Reversal, Law Enforcement, Military, and Security Advisors Urge Homeland Security to Shift Away from Private Prisons
In a surprise development, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), an expert panel of law enforcement, national security, military, and other experts who advise the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security voted on Thursday to recommend that the agency shift away from using private...
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Monday, October 03, 2016
Homeland Security Must Stop Using Private Prisons for Immigration Detention. Here’s How to Do It.
This August, the Justice Department made history when it announced that the Bureau of Prisons would curtail — and eventually end — its use of private prisons. As the Justice Department noted, this change was made possible by criminal justice reforms that reduced its prison population. Now the ACLU...
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Sunday, July 19, 2015
What President Obama Didn’t Hear or Smell at El Reno
From several years of touring prisons, I’ve learned they all have a distinctive and oddly similar smell: sweat, human misery, and grime — sometimes overlain, but never hidden, by the acrid odors of chlorine and other cleaning products. The sounds give you a sense of the different parts of the...
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015
How US Prison Officials Rubberstamped a CIA Torture Chamber
The CIA's chief interrogator called it "the closest thing he has seen to a dungeon." At the agency's COBALT detention site in Afghanistan – also known as the "Salt Pit" – detainees were kept in total darkness, shackled to the floors or walls of their cells, and given buckets to dispose of their own...
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Saturday, March 15, 2014
Getting Rich By Locking Up Grandpa
Well, that didn’t take long. Within just a few months of Kentucky cutting its ties with the country’s biggest for-profit prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has hit back with its latest sinister scheme to turn tax dollars (and human misery) into shareholder returns.
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Thursday, July 05, 2012
Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor
Across the country, cash-strapped cities and counties are throwing poor defendants in jail for failing to pay legal debts that they can never hope to manage. On Monday, the New York Times told the story of Gina Ray, whose $179 speeding ticket mushroomed into $3,170 in fines and fees and 40 days in jail when she couldn’t afford to pay it. Gina is one of many swept up in America’s new debtors’ prisons, a growing problem nationwide.
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