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, 02:59 PM EDT

National News Headlines

Missing man, granddaughter, 6, found murdered, cops say
A missing grandfather and his six-year-old granddaughter were found murdered Sunday morning, FOX 13 reported.

Baltimore sees 11 shootings, 2 of them fatal, in the first days of August
On the heels of the most deadly month in 43 years, Baltimore saw 11 shootings, two of them fatal, in the first two days of August, including an incident in which seven people were shot.

Police find person of interest after Memphis police officer killed during traffic stop
Memphis Police said Sunday they have apprehended a person of interest in the search for the gunman who shot and killed an officer during a traffic stop the previous night.

Alligator bites 'chunk' out of Florida man
An alligator took “a chunk” of a Florida man’s leg during an attack on Tuesday, WKMG reported.

Massive wildfire raging north of San Francisco spreads, threatens thousands of homes
Fire officials say a massive blaze raging in the Lower Lake area north of San Francisco spread overnight covering more drought-stricken ground.

Families of Florida teens missing at sea turn to fundraising to continue search
The families of two missing Florida teens who are lost at sea have turned to online fundraising to keep the search – and hope – alive.

Decades later, Michigan city limps toward finish line to fix housing bias against blacks
A Detroit-area community that targeted blacks by demolishing poor neighborhoods is scrambling to come up with money to finally end the case — 44 years after a federal judge found clear evidence of discrimination.

Police say no indication of looming gang violence at Sturgis rally; huge attendance expected
Never-before-seen crowds are expected to ride into the craggy, evergreen-dotted Black Hills of western South Dakota this week, all headed to the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Confederate flag not gone yet: Many still fly it, refusing to give up fight over its meaning
Many Americans assumed the Confederate flag was retired for good after governors in South Carolina and Alabama removed it from their statehouses this summer and presidential candidates from both parties declared it too divisive for official display.

Sailor faces charges after photos of Navy attack sub found on cellphone
A Navy sailor assigned to an attack submarine has been accused of using his cellphone to snap revealing photos of the sub’s top-secret inner spaces.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix