Because people locked up in prisons and jails cannot visit their own doctor or walk to the pharmacy up the street, the government takes on an obligation to provide them with health care while they are incarcerated. But the quality of care is often so poor that it does not meet constitutional standards. The results can be tragic – too often measured in deaths and catastrophic injury.
We fight for decent medical and mental health treatment of incarcerated men and women to make sure their prison sentences do not become death sentences.
A federal class action lawsuit filed against the Louisiana Department of Corrections and David Wade Correctional Center (DWCC) for subjecting prisoners to cruel, debilitating conditions, including severe punishment for mentally ill and suicidal prisoners. DWCC subjects hundreds of prisoners to “extended lockdown”, which confines an individual to a cell for 23-24 hours per day with little to no human contact. The trauma inflicted by DWCC has created and worsened mental illness and led to numerous attempts at self-harm and suicide.
Joshua Jurcich, a young man living with mental illness, committed suicide as a result of the abuse and neglect he experienced while held in the St. Clair County Jail at Belleville, Illinois in 2014. St. Clair County Sheriff’s officers held Mr. Jurcich in isolation, physically beat him and mocked his threats of suicide. We represent the estate of Mr. Jurcichi in a lawsuit against St. Clair County Jail.
Two months after Joshua Jurcich had committed suicide by hanging in the St. Clair County Jail, Bradley Scarpi informed a correctional officer that he wanted to kill himself. The officer responded, “whatever, do what you want to do.” Five hours later, Mr. Scarpi was found hanging by a bedsheet. We represent the estate of Mr. Scarpi in a lawsuit against St. Clair County Jail.
In Missouri, at least 10-15% of the incarcerated population is infected with HCV. However, recent data showed that only 0.11 percent of inmates are actually getting treatment. The MacArthur Justice Center and the ACLU of Missouri jointly filed a federal class action lawsuit challenging the Missouri Department of Corrections’ (MDOC) systematic denial of potential life-saving medication to inmates with chronic Hepatitis C (HCV).
In an amicus brief in Gaston v. Ghosh, we urge the Seventh Circuit to abandon these special rules and hold private companies accountable when they break the law.
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.
Class Action Lawsuit (Tellis v. LeBlanc) Filed against Louisiana Prison Subjecting Prisoners to Cruel, Debilitating Conditions, including Severe Punishment for Mentally Ill and Suicidal Prisoners
Lawsuit (Postawko, et. al v. Missouri Department of Corrections) Targeting Missouri Dept. of Corrections’ Neglect of Inmates with Hep C Certified as Class Action
In the news
Hep C Class Action Lawsuit in Missouri Goes to CourtPress Release
Eighth Circuit Affirms Class-Action Status for Lawsuit Against Missouri Department of Corrections’ for Lack of Hepatitis C TreatmentPress Release
St. Clair County ordered to pay $301,000 to family of jail inmate who committed suicideBelleville News-Democrat December 7, 2018
Appeals court upholds class action status for thousands of Missouri inmates with hepatitisSt. Louis Public Radio December 6, 2018