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

Boston Marathon bombing: New arrest linked to gun used after attacks
A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a college police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.

AP sources: New arrest is linked to gun used to kill officer after Boston Marathon attack
A man believed to have provided the gun used by Boston Marathon bombing suspects to kill a college police officer has been arrested on drug and weapon charges.

Ex-BP engineer's retrial postponed while prosecutors appeal decision that negated conviction
The August retrial of a former BP engineer accused of obstructing justice in an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been postponed while an appeals court decides whether a judge was right to throw out his earlier conviction.

New York Police Department to revamp training on use of force amid outrage over custody death
The New York Police Department is revamping its training on the use of force amid outrage over the death in police custody of a man suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes.

Jury picked in murder trial of suburban-Detroit man who shot unarmed woman on his porch
A jury has been seated in the trial of a Detroit-area man who fatally shot a woman on his porch.

More than $180K stolen during armed robbery at Atlantic City casino
Police are seeking two masked suspects who robbed an Atlantic City casino at gunpoint and made off with more than $180,000.

Rhyming judge convicts Oregon man of stealing puppy at gunpoint
An Oregon man accused of stealing an English bulldog puppy at gunpoint was convicted of the crime by a judge who left him with a rhyme.

Acting Veterans Affairs secretary vows end to whistleblower retaliation in St. Louis visit
The acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is vowing to crack down on whistleblower retaliation after a private government watchdog released a critical report on the agency's treatment of employees who brought internal problems to light.

Deaf educator Robert Panara, a founder of National Technical Institute of the Deaf, dies at 94
A man who lost his hearing as a child and became a leading educator of the deaf and a pioneer of studies of deaf culture has died.

Searchers: Last body found after deadly landslide in Washington state that killed 43 people
Searchers on Tuesday pulled what they believe was the last missing body from debris left by a landslide in Washington state that researchers said was likely triggered by heavy rainfall.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix