The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous civil liberties concerns, from the safety of people in detention facilities to voting rights to the expanse and limits of government power. The ACLU of Pennsylvania has prioritized its work in this moment based on how and where we can be most impactful.

Read a letter from our executive director, Reggie Shuford, about our actions to defend civil liberties during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Criminal Legal Reform

Without immediate action, our jails and prisons could become the epicenter of the pandemic. Criminal legal reform advocacy groups are urging government officials to release as many people from Pennsylvania’s state prisons and county jails as possible and to implement additional safety measures across the system to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Press Releases


In the Courts

Frequently Asked Questions about Health and Safety in Jails and Prisons During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Immigrants' Rights

We must protect immigrants and refugees who are being held in detention. The conditions in detention facilities make it likely that the COVID-19 virus will spread rapidly. People who are being detained, facility employees, and the communities that the employees are a part of are all at risk. 

On March 24, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit to free 13 people held in immigration detention who are considered most vulnerable to COVID-19. Other ACLU affiliates across the country are filing similar lawsuits.

In the Courts

Press Releases

Institutional Living


Student and Youth Rights

Voting Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic is a threat to our 2020 presidential election, but we are doing everything in our power to ensure that our democracy is not disrupted. Pennsylvania recently delayed the primary election scheduled for April 28 until June 2. We are encouraging voters to register for vote-by-mail as a way to maintain social distancing during this global crisis. Learn more at

Press Release

ACLU-PA Statement on Delay of Pennsylvania Primary Election

ACLU-PA Intake

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, our Legal Intake Department is operating at a limited capacity until further notice. Although we are reviewing all of the complaints submitted through the online form, we will not be able to respond to every request for assistance we receive.  To file a legal complaint, click here.