Updated - June 25, 2021

Wells v. Philbin

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Those who are incarcerated have few ways to vindicate their rights when they suffer constitutional harms. The courts provide one avenue, but they are not without their limitations. Filing suit is expensive, and with little to no means of earning money while incarcerated, fronting expensive court fees is almost impossible. One lifeline is the federal in...

Filed - June 17, 2021

Updated - June 14, 2021

Terry v. United States

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Terry v. United States—a case before the U.S. Supreme Court—sought to correct the unfair and incorrect exclusion of low-level crack offenders from relief clearly provided by the bipartisan First Step Act, passed by Congress in 2018. The United States reversed its position in this case, and filed a brief supporting our position. The Court appointed an amicus...

Filed - February 12, 2021

Updated - June 4, 2021

Thomas v. Jurgensen

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
After Leon Thomas was subjected to despicable conditions of confinement in a non-ADA compliant solitary confinement cell, despite demonstrated and severe physical challenges including a transtibial amputation, he sued officials of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The DOJ asserted failure-to-exhaust when answering Mr. Thomas’ complaint only to disavow it 16 times during the course of...

Filed - March 4, 2020

Updated - May 24, 2021

Jones v. City of St. Louis

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
In May 2021, Derrick Jones, Jerome Jones, and Darnell Rusan filed a lawsuit alleging the City of St. Louis and the City Justice Center staff violated their constitutional rights by indiscriminately and excessively macing them, and depriving them of water to their cells. The suit details individual abuses that each man survived, and shows how...

Filed - May 24, 2021

Updated - May 13, 2021

Abraham v. Corizon

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
In Abraham v. Corizon, the Oregon Supreme Court will decide whether Corizon and other for-profit healthcare providers are bound by the Oregon Public Accommodations Law—an ADA analogue that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. To help the state high court answer that question, MJC filed an amici brief on behalf of Disability Rights Oregon, the ACLU...

Filed - May 13, 2021

Updated - May 10, 2021

Wooden v. United States

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Has an individual who committed more than one robbery at the same location, but sequentially in time, committed offenses “on occasions different from one another” for purposes of a sentencing enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”)? This is the question the Supreme Court will resolve in Wooden v. United States. Wooden robbed a...

Filed - May 10, 2021

Updated - April 2, 2021

Lance v. Board of County Commissioners, et al

Health and Safety
Dustin Lance developed a painful and dangerous medical condition while in pretrial detention at the Pittsburg County Jail. He was in severe pain and pleaded with corrections officers for three days to help him. But they did not take him to the nurse or take any steps to provide the emergency medical care that he needed....

Filed - January 21, 2020

Updated - March 18, 2021

Tillman v. City of St. Louis

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Alongside ArchCity Defenders, Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics, and Rights Behind Bars, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of Anthony Tillman, a paraplegic man in the St. Louis City Justice Center, alleging that the City has violated his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide him access to...

Filed - March 9, 2021

Updated - February 26, 2021

Finnigan v. Mendrick

Health and Safety
Alongside the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, the ACLU of Illinois, and the Legal Action Center, we filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit against the DuPage County Sheriff on behalf of Christine Finnigan to ensure she is provided with her prescribed medication for addiction treatment (also known as MAT) while...

Filed - January 20, 2021

Updated - February 24, 2021

Ashaheed v. Currington

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Tajuddin Ashaheed was forced by a corrections officer to shave his beard while in the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC), violating his First Amendment rights. Mr. Ashaheed is a practicing Muslim who observes the Sunnha practice of leaving his beard to grow. His beard is integral to his religious identity, and from...

Filed - October 23, 2020