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An Eye on the Federal Justice System

"The United States Department of Justice cries out for scrutiny, for it is entrusted with a remarkable array of power over American freedoms..."

August 26, 2005
Incarceration as a Failed Policy
Alvin J. Bronstein*
Al Bronstein, Director Emeritus of the ACLU’s National Prison Project, discusses the real impact of prisons – and argues that we’re not getting anything worthwhile from their growth and cost. Click here to read his editorial, "Incarceration as a Failed Policy."
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September 6, 2005
Watching Justice Website Goes Off-Line
The Watching Justice Website will be going permanently off-line in a few weeks. Effective immediately, contributions are no longer being solicited or considered for publication. We wish to thank all of those who have used and contributed to the website. The Open Society Policy Center will, however, continue to monitor developments at the Department of Justice and to be actively engaged in a range of issues on which the Department plays an active role.
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August 31, 2005
Gonzales Trashes Senate Version of the Patriot Act
Toeing the Administration's hard line in their uncompromising approach to the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales criticized the Senate's version of the reauthorizing legislation, claiming it would place new restrictions on law enforcement and hamper the government‘s ability to prevent terrorist attacks.
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August 30, 2005
F.B.I Uses Patriot Act to Demand Library Records from Connecticut Institution
Despite assurances by the Bush administration that it had never used the Patriot Act to demand records from libraries or booksellers, the American Civil Liberties Union reports that the F.B.I. is using its expanded power under the Patriot Act to demand records from a Connecticut organization that possesses “a wide array of sensitive information about library patrons, including information about the reading materials borrowed by library patrons and about Internet usage by library patrons.”
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August 29, 2005
Demotion of BJS Director Highlights Bush Administration's Attempt to Politicize Data on Profiling
Lawrence A. Greenfeld, the Bush appointee who has directed the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics since 2001, has been demoted after 23 years at the agency.
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August 24, 2005
Attorney General Gonzales “Applies Pressure” on the War on Drugs
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales spoke to a group of judges and anti-drug advocates last week in support of the Bush administration’s fight against the drug methamphetamine.
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August 19, 2005
Civil Liberties on the Back Burner
Taking the recommendation of the September 11th Commission, Congress called last December for a civil liberties board in an intelligence reform bill, in order to ensure that the government does not run roughshod over Americans' civil rights in the name of security. However, Reuters reports there has been little progress with the Bush-appointed panel.
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August 18, 2005
IG Investigates More Inmate Abuse Claims
A special report released this week by the Justice Department‘s Inspector General discusses the failure of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York to provide hundreds of videotapes which capture the treatment of detainees in the federal prison center.
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The Department of Justice in the News
External link 400 Arrested in U.S. Methamphetamine Raids  The Washington Post (reg. required), Aug. 31, 2005
External link U.S. citizenship revoked for man linked to Nazis  The Chicago Tribune (reg. required), Aug. 31, 2005
External link U.S. to Seek Terror Charges  The Los Angeles Times (reg. required), Aug. 31, 2005
External link U.S. Investigating Long Island School Districts  The New York Times (reg. required), Aug. 31, 2005
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