WSMH FOX 66 on Facebook WSMH FOX 66 Twitter WSMH FOX 66 RSS Feed WSMH FOX 66 Mailing List
 

FOX 66 News at Ten

WSMH FOX 66 :: News - News at Ten - ACLU reaches agreement with Isabella Co. over jail
ACLU reaches agreement with Isabella Co. over jail

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has reached a deal with Isabella County that settles claims the county jail wasn't treating female inmates fairly and didn't allow all inmates enough time outside their cells.

The ACLU of Michigan sued the county last year on behalf of inmates at the Mount Pleasant facility. It announced the settlement Thursday, saying the county now is letting inmates exercise outside their cells and is providing women with equal access to work.

The advocacy group had said women inmates were being denied access to opportunities that were available to men.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday with Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski, who said last year he wanted to work with the ACLU on the issues it raised.

"This settlement is a textbook example of how jail officials and civil rights advocates can work together to protect the basic human rights of prisoners," said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan. "We congratulate Isabella County for abolishing its former policy of locking down all inmates 24/7 without any opportunity to exercise outside the cell. The new exercise policy not only brings the jail into compliance with constitutional standards, but it enhances security by reducing violence and improving the mental health of inmates."

The facility, located in Mount Pleasant, houses about 200 pre-trial detainees and sentenced inmates from not only Isabella County, but also cities such as Livonia, Midland and Westland. Prior to the settlement agreement, inmates were not permitted any out-of-cell exercise for the duration of their detention, which can exceed one year.

Additionally, women were denied the opportunities male prisoners had to serve as "trustees," or trusted inmates who are permitted time out of their cells to perform prison jobs.

Under the settlement, jail officials must usually give inmates the opportunity to use a recreation room with exercise equipment for a minimum of an hour, five days a week. They must also make "best efforts" must be made to allow out-of-cell recreation seven days a week. 

The county further agreed to adopt a policy to ensure that women inmates could be trustees and that the percentage of trustees who were female reflected their presence in overall jail population. Finally, the federal court will have the ability to enforce the settlement for five years if, for some reason, jail officials violate its terms.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ACLU reaches agreement with Isabella Co. over jail

Monday, October 7 2013, 01:59 PM EDT

National News Headlines

US cathedral may become museum to the slave trade
A plan to open what would be the nation's only museum centered on the trans-Atlantic slave trade would focus on the Episcopal Church's role in its history and the sometimes-buried legacy of slavery in northern states like Rhode Island.

Shuttered US cathedral may become slave trade museum as Episcopal Church seeks to unbury past
A plan to open what would be the nation's only museum centered on the trans-Atlantic slave trade would focus on the Episcopal Church's role in its history and the sometimes-buried legacy of slavery in northern states like Rhode Island.

Hawaii road re-opens as lava flow stalls; motorists asked to not stop for lava gawking
Hawaii County's civil defense director is asking motorists not to stop on a newly reopened road in a rural town to get a look at lava that has stalled less than 500 feet away.

Ferguson: Then, now and what might lie ahead with grand jury's decision not to indict officer
Thanksgiving started quietly in Ferguson, following protests Wednesday night that drew the smallest crowd since a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in the death of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old.

Ferguson bakery vandalized during protests receives $200,000 in donations
A Missouri bakery nearly destroyed by violent protests in Ferguson this week has received $200,000 in donations from Good Samaritans helping to rebuild the popular cake shop.

Families asked to show brotherly love by hosting visitors during pope's visit to Philadelphia
Residents of the Philadelphia area are being asked to show some brotherly love to those traveling to the city to see Pope Francis next year.

Authorities return to Aaron Hernandez's home seeking sneakers
Authorities have returned to the home of ex-New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez seeking sneakers they believe were worn on the night of a 2013 killing he's charged in.

Turkeys flown to US troops stationed overseas, while America celebrates Thanksgiving
U.S. troops in Afghanistan enjoyed feasts of turkey and stuffing Thursday on what will be the last Thanksgiving in the combat zone for many service members, while Americans at home reveled in the holiday at New York’s Macy’s parade.

Authorities return to home of ex-Patriot Aaron Hernandez seeking sneakers for murder case
Authorities have returned to the home of ex-New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez seeking sneakers they believe were worn on the night of a 2013 killing he's charged in.

New holiday tradition: Millions expected to hit stores on Thanksgiving
Millions of Americans are expected to head to the stores for holiday gift shopping on Thanksgiving in what's quickly becoming a new holiday tradition.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix