West Virginia made historic strides in the 2015 legislative session reforming our state’s broken juvenile justice system. Although the reform is a meaningful step in the right direction, the ACLU of WV turns its attention to ensuring that the state remains committed to making necessary reforms. West Virginia is projected to save at least $20 million due to the reforms passed last session. The ACLU-WV will push to ensure that those savings are reinvested into programs necessary to make lasting change, generate even more savings, and best serve our youth. READ MORE
Know Your Rights: Children and Families
The juvenile justice system is complex and confusing. Between an alphabet soup of agencies and programs, complex rules, and a wide range of outcomes, it can be very frustrating to navigate the system and know what rights you have along the way. The ACLU of WV is dedicated to helping make sense of this system, and to making sure that parents and children know their rights at every step of the process.
The ACLU works to ensure that every woman can make the best decision for herself and her family about whether and when to have a child without undue political interference.
Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, we strive to ensure that every woman has the opportunity to make a real decision and the ability to get the care she needs. With your help, the ACLU stands ready to block efforts to take this decision away from women and their families.
Our work focuses on a range of issues, including protecting access to affordable contraception, protecting a woman’s ability to make personal, private decisions about pregnancy and abortion, and fighting pregnancy discrimination.
Civil Asset Forefeiture
Police can take possession of cash and goods of people suspected of crimes through a process known as civil asset forfeiture. Even if never convicted, individuals have only a short time to file expensive and complicated suits against the police to reclaim their property. If unclaimed, police departments can use the cash and sell the goods for their own benefit. This gives an incentive to over-police and flips the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” on its head. The ACLU of WV through education and advocacy is working to limit the scope of this practice.
Social Media Privacy
The digital revolution has dramatically changed the way we interact in our world. It has opened new opportunities, but it has also created new challenges; not least of which are the constant threats to our privacy. Through advocacy, litigation and education, the ACLU of WV will work to zealously defend people’s privacy rights in the digital world.
We advocate for state and federal non-discrimination laws, and litigate to ensure that religious beliefs cannot be used to justify acts of bias. While there is public support for making discrimination against gay people illegal, we have more work to do to ensure that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, can fully participate in civil society. The need for enduring attitudinal change underlies our strategic approach to advocacy, which combines litigation and lobbying with public education and grassroots organizing.
The death penalty is the ultimate denial of civil liberties. West Virginia abolished the death penalty in 1965. Motions to reinstate the death penalty have appeared in the West Virginia legislature, but attempts have never been successful. A bill was proposed in February of 2011 that sparked debate over reinstatement, but the bill did not pass.