Race-Based Harassment

Two former correctional officers may pursue part of their civil rights lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice over claims they were unjustifiably fired after they complained about “race-based police harassment” they experienced during back-to-back traffic stops while they were on their way to work, a federal court in the state ruled.

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No Prisoner Release

A federal judge in New York denied six inmates’ request to release all prisoners at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn whose age or medical condition puts them at a heightened risk from Covid-19. The judge noted there had been no Covid-related fatalities and only one Covid-related hospitalization at the facility. 

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California Still Keeping Inmates in Solitary, Ninth Circuit Hears

The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation is still keeping inmates in isolation, violating a landmark settlement that ended indefinite solitary confinement in California, counsel for a class of 1,600 prisoners told a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday.

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Covid-19 in Prison

A federal court in Louisiana granted in part a diabetic inmate’s request for a temporary restraining order, finding that staff at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, must comply with internal policies and the governor’s recommendations about disinfecting common areas, wearing masks, and implementing social distancing measures to limit the spread of Covid-19. 

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Prison Transfers

A federal court denied a request by prisoners at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, to stop the Department of Corrections from transferring Covid-19 “carriers” to maximum-security prison, finding that the request is based on “speculation and conjecture” about what the department “‘might’ do with respect to transferring inmates.”

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Transgender in Prison

The 11th Circuit ruled that an inmate’s claims against the Florida Department of Corrections’ now-repealed “freeze frame” policy limiting transgender inmates to the medical treatments they were receiving when they were taken into custody are moot. The circuit court also found the department did not violate the Eighth Amendment when it refused the inmate’s request to wear long hair, makeup and women’s undergarments.

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Civil Rights Commission Takes Stand for Female Inmates

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report Wednesday that condemned how state and federal prisons treat female inmates, saying a broad range of disparities in areas from medical care to discipline show that correctional facilities are not designed for or tailored to women’s needs. 

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