During his tenure at the ACLU, Mike Brickner has worked on a variety of critical civil liberties movements. These include coordinating campaigns to expand and protect the right to vote, combating privatization of prisons, and promoting reforms to Ohio’s criminal justice system. In 2013, Mike co-authored two reports focusing on the intersection of poverty and the criminal justice system. The Outskirts of Hope: How Debtors’ Prisons are Ruining Lives and Costing Communities chronicled how courts were illegally imprisoning low-income Ohioans because they could not afford to pay their fines. The report culminated in the Ohio Supreme Court increasing education and training for court personnel and issuing bench cards with clear rules for collecting fines. The second 2013 report, Adding It Up: The Financial Realities of Ohio’s Pay-to-Stay Policies examined the burden placed on incarcerated people and their families by exorbitant jail fees. He followed this report with another in 2015, which culminated in the elimination of four counties’ pay- to-stay jail fee policies. Mike is a nationally recognized expert on prison privatization. In 2014, he created a documentary showing the rapid decline of Ohio-based Lake Erie Correctional Institution, the first state prison sold outright to a private company in the nation.
Updated March 2017