Rights of the Incarcerated

The United States imprisons more people than any country on earth, including Russia and China. American jails and prisons are tedious, isolating and sometimes dangerous.  Prisons and jails make too frequent use of solitary confinement.  They provide virtually nothing in the way of rehabilitation and do much to harm the psyches of the incarcerated.  Abuse is rampant.  Assault is frequent.

We fight to keep the courthouse door open to prisoners and to hold prison officials accountable for their misdeeds.

Latest Developments

December 6, 2018

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s certification of Postawko. v. Missouri Department of Corrections, our class-action lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections and its private medical provider, Corizon LLC, for their inhumane, unconstitutional treatment of inmates with chronic hepatitis C.

November 8, 2018

After multiple suits against the Illinois Department of Corrections, a federal judge in southern Illinois recognized that the Constitution protects trans women from discrimination. The judge  ordered state prison officials to re-evaluate Strawberry Hampton’s previously denied request for transfer — and also mandated that the agency develop training on transgender issues for all staff.

October 30, 2018

Amir Ali, Supreme Court and Appellate Counsel at the MacArthur Justice Center, argued Gilberto Garza Jr., was deprived of his constitutional right to a lawyer because his lawyers did not follow his instructions to appeal the legality of his plea and sentence. Garza v. Idaho

September 5, 2018

Lawsuit filed against the Virginia Department of Corrections on behalf of Mr. Nicolas Reyes who has been in solitary confinement for over 12 years. He remains in solitary solely because he cannot complete the mandatory English-only Step-Down Program, requiring reflective journaling and other lessons before entering general population.

July 18, 2018

Due to abuse and harassment by Illinois Department of Corrections officials, Ms. Strawberry Hampton filed an amended complaint that includes more recent abuse, harassment and neglect that has occurred and continues to occur while detained at Dixon Correctional Center. Hampton v. Illinois Department of Corrections

July 11, 2018

Seventh Circuit agrees that prolonged solitary confinement is dangerous for prisoners suffering from mental illness.

Key Cases