Criminal Justice

Advocacy groups urge overhaul of federal solitary confinement procedures

Friday, October 9, 2015
Advocates call for solitary confinement reform
In an open letter to President Obama [PDF], published October 1, civil rights groups called on the President to follow through on his recent promises to reduce the federal government’s reliance on solitary…

Utah sued over wait times for competency restoration services

Friday, October 2, 2015
News from Utah
The state of Utah is failing to provide court-ordered competency restoration services in a reasonably timely manner for criminal defendants unable to stand trial, according to a class-action lawsuit filed September 8 by the Disability Law Center

Agreement requires LA education agency to provide special education services in jails

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Youth Entitled to Special Education while Incarcerated
A federal court signed off September 14 on a comprehensive settlement with disability advocates and the Los Angeles County Office of Education to implement new safeguards to ensure inmates with disabilities receive special…

Inmates with mental illness tell their stories through the AVID Jail Project

Wednesday, August 19, 2015The AVID Jail Project of Disability Rights Washington works on behalf of inmates with mental illness in several local jails. As Washington’s protection and advocacy agency, Disability Rights Washington is in a unique position to bring recording equipment into jails to capture and share the experiences of people with disabilities.

Settlement calls for overhaul of mental health care in LA County Jails

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Agreement to Reduce Suicides
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department must take a variety of steps to reduce suicides in county jails, improve mental health treatment, and reduce the use of excessive force against people with mental illnesses, under a…

Lawsuit targets delays in competency evaluation and restoration services

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
News from California
The ACLU of Northern California and Sullivan and Cromwell filed a lawsuit in state court July 29, accusing the state of California of systematically violating the rights of pre-trial detainees. Under federal and California law, states must…

Lawsuit filed on behalf of handcuffed 8-year-old with ADHD

Monday, August 10, 2015S.R. is an eight-year-old, 52 pound boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One day in Fall 2014, S.R. was removed from his classroom, allegedly for causing disruptive behavior. After S.R. allegedly failed to comply with directions from School Resource Officer Kevin Sumner, he was forced into a chair and handcuffed.

Report: 124 people with mental illness shot by police so far in 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015
The Washington Post illustrates police shootings involving individuals with mental illness
The Washington Post published a front-page story July 1, detailing its initial finding from a first-of-its type database of fatal shooting incidents involving police officers. Inspired by the protests…

Supreme Court expands due process rights for death row inmates with disabilities

Monday, June 29, 2015
Due Process Rights Expanded
In a split 5-4 decision [PDF], the Supreme Court ruled June 18 that the state of Louisiana violated federal law when it refused to provide a death row inmate a hearing to present evidence of…

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