Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

ACLU taps CATCH founder as its new executive director

Greg Morris, former executive director and founder of CATCH, which stands for Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless, has been hired as the new executive director of the ACLU of Idaho, the third person to hold that position in the group's two-decade history. The previous two were Jack Van Valkenburgh and Monica Hopkins; click below for the group's full announcement.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Visionary leader only third executive to lead ACLU Idaho affiliate

Boise, ID—The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho has hired a new executive director. Greg Morris, former executive director of the Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless (CATCH) organization will take over as the third executive director to lead the ACLU of Idaho during its two decade history in the state.

“Greg joins the ACLU of Idaho at a pivotal moment in the organization’s history,” said Michael Barlett, ACLU of Idaho Board President. “And I anticipate his strong leadership will lead the organization to new heights as we champion the rights of Idahoans in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities across the state.”

Greg comes to the ACLU with a solid history and experience in advocating for Idaho’s most vulnerable community members, the homeless, a group whose civil rights and liberties are often threatened.  He comes with a wealth of local, regional and national relationships that will make the ACLU even stronger in Idaho than it has already become.

As the Executive Director and founder of CATCH, Greg established the organization as one of the most effective and highly regarded program models in the country for addressing the issues of homelessness.  Under Greg’s leadership, CATCH was recognized by the National League of Cities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

The task ahead for Greg is to lead the organization as it expands its work to address deficiencies in Idaho’s outdated public defense and criminal justice systems, and to protect free speech rights curtailed by measures like the new ag-gag law passed earlier this year.

“I am honored to have been selected as the Executive Director of the ACLU of Idaho,” said Greg Morris.  “For over twenty years this organization has successfully pushed back threats to our constitutional rights and championed key cases and campaigns to reaffirm our liberties.  I intend to continue that same tradition of being at the forefront and in the trenches to ensure the rights of every person is respected.”

The ACLU of Idaho is involved in several high profile cases, including a contempt case against the for profit Corrections Corporation of American (CCA) who left the state in July after unsuccessfully operating an Idaho prison rampant with violence. The organization is also part of a larger coalition challenging Idaho’s new ag-gag law that threatens protected free speech. Last month the ACLU of Idaho made oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals defending a class action win in federal court that restored more than 16 million dollars to Idahoans with developmental disabilities.  In the Idaho statehouse, the ACLU of Idaho remains a vocal supporter of ensuring constitutional public defense services statewide and pushing for reform in the broader criminal justice system.

More at


Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

Follow Betsy online: