Friday, May 15, 2020

ACLU Sues to Free Convicts

The Mississippi Center for Justice and ACLU issued the following statement.

Today the Mississippi Center for Justice, along with the Hogan Lovells law firm, attorney Mark Whitburn of Austin, Texas, and the ACLU of Mississippi, filed a class action lawsuit against Mississippi’s two largest prisons for taking inadequate steps to prevent infection and mitigate an outbreak of COVID-19.  View the complaint here. According to the lawsuit, the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) and the South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) have not implemented minimum prevention practices required to reduce transmission and identify cases of COVID-19 infection. Among other measures, the suit seeks implementation of guidance provided to correctional facilities by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 



MCJ’s lawsuit seeks to proceed as a class action on behalf of the approximately 6,000 individuals housed at CMCF and SMCI. It also seeks to certify a subclass of persons who have disabilities that put them at increased risk of contracting, becoming severely ill from, and dying from COVID-19. The case is brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  



“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mississippi’s prisons were already in a state of crisis; men and women die in Mississippi prisons at a rate that far exceeds the national average,” said MCJ President and CEO Vangela M. Wade. “Safely reducing the number of incarcerated people is the best way to prevent an unnecessary deadly outbreak, but in the meantime, minimal protective practices must be immediately implemented.”



“MDOC prisons like CMCF and SMCI operate at nearly double their staffed capacity, so a single guard may be responsible for supervising hundreds of individuals across one or two buildings,” said Paloma Wu, Deputy Director of Impact Litigation at MCJ. “This means there is often nobody to tell if you feel sick, and right now, there are people inside who have run out of soap and can’t get cleaning supplies—the unnecessary risk of harm to our community members in custody is unacceptable.”



The lawsuit alleges that Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has not implemented basic pandemic response protocols such as frequent cleaning and disinfection of living units, as well as provision of sufficient hand soap and cleaning supplies. The lawsuit also cites failures to adequately isolate and test residents, as well as failures to communicate key infection prevention information.



“People in prison are being forced to use their personal unlaundered towels to wipe down common areas for lack of rudimentary cleaning supplies to keep communities inside safe from this deadly pandemic,” said Joshua Tom, Interim Executive Director and Legal Director of the ACLU of Mississippi. “The data is clear that hotspots of infection in prisons leads to increased infection in surrounding communities: it is in everyone’s best interest to follow the law regarding the treatment of people in prison during this pandemic.”  



The plaintiffs are represented by Paloma Wu and Rob McDuff of MCJ, Joshua Tom of the ACLU of Mississippi, Mark Whitburn of Austin, Texas, and Jonathan Abram, John Hamilton, Madeleine Bech, and Sydney Rupe of the Hogan Lovells law firm.  The lawsuit was filed against the Interim Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Superintendents of CMCF and SMCI. 


The Mississippi Center for Justice is a public service law firm that fights discrimination, economic, and social injustice through legal representation, policy advocacy, and community education.





20 comments:

Do the Crimes, Do the Time said...

Let 'em loose. But first give them the home addresses of all of the involved ACLU attorneys, along with all of the other sob-sisters and bleeding-hearts, as a place to live.

Anonymous said...

Just a ploy to get the convicts turned loose.

Anonymous said...

The state needs to get a handle on its prisons.

Anonymous said...

All these coronavirus lawsuits will be the next plague to hit this nation.
Congress needs to pass laws protecting states, business, & individuals for garish lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Free the land-

Anonymous said...

The state needs to get a handle on the criminals.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the reaction of an ACLU attorney would be who was gang raped after diligently working to get these thugs released. As a victim of violent crime, I think this is a relevant question.

Anonymous said...

Release? How about leave them there. Scum.

They are safer in prison than running the streets and getting mowed down by their homeboys.

Anonymous said...

Hell, we could all sue the Federal Government and the State of Mississippi for the same thing. Nobody is safe, why should prisoners be any safer?

Anonymous said...

10:16 am great POST.
10:23 am Well put.
10:57 am Drop the mic & leave the stage.
11:11 am Sage advice.
I love Jackson Jambalaya & I'm not KF!
I'm a poor soul sheltering in place.

Anonymous said...

How bout the prisons implement some safety protocols and work out a settlement. Instead of hiring Baker Donelson or whoever and spending millions in defense just to be a prick. Heck I bet even some well meaning people already on staff at MDOC and the AG’s office could work that out at minimal expense to taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 12:08. Fix the problems instead of raising the stakes on doing nothing. FWIW, I don't think simply releasing inmates fixes anything, but we have to correct the problems in the prison system if we are going to enforce prison sentences.

Along these same lines, it is my belief that society needs the worst criminals to have highly-competent lawyers at trial to ensure they don't have their convictions overturned on appeal. Also, the more a judge favors the prosecution, the greater the chance of committing reversible error during the trial.

Anonymous said...

Don’t release them in Jackson. It wouldn’t be safe for them in the bold new city!

Anonymous said...


at 10:51

Probably "YIKES!"

Somebody Get Tate In Gear! said...

Will Tater finally get his ass off the internet and television and take care of some Mississippi problems? The state was crumbling when he was booking tickets to Spain. Welfare, Highway Patrol, Department of unCorrections, Employment Security, Institutes of Higher Learning (how farcicle), State Department of Education, Jackson Public Schools, Department of Transportation.

For God's sakes...quit pretending your job (Tater) is Covid updates.

Anonymous said...

Well 1:57, Tate did inherit more than a few issues . . . but I'm pleasantly surprised how he's handled all of this shit.

I voted for him, but was never a big fan.

I suspect Hood would have followed Nancy Pelosi's goofy plans.

Gawd, where would we be if Hood had been electcted ?






Anonymous said...

Woops, I forgot to praise 8:23 am

8:23 am Fantastic post. You won the internet today.
10:16 am great POST.
10:23 am Well put.
10:57 am Drop the mic & leave the stage.
11:11 am Sage advice.

Anonymous said...

The “fix” to house prisoners 12 feet apart in each direction would cost hundreds of millions of dollars

Anonymous said...

And some liberal/progressives scream that any citizen not wearing a "face covering" should be be thrown in jail.

But at the same time, they scream violent offenders should be released to "stop the spread" of this latest Super Chinese Flu.

I ask any liberal/progressive to please explain this logic.

Thanks.



Anonymous said...

4:22 - I never implied he didn't 'inherit' these situations. But,now that you mention it, he HAS served in state government leadership positions for sixteen+ years, at least eight of those in a position to contribute to solutions or ignore these problems. It's simply time for him to get off TV and take care of state problems. Otherwise the ACLU and Justice Department are going to build regional headquarters with helicopter pads on I-220 (with reflecting ponds).

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Archives

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.