Cops, Courts & Prisons


Originally published in the Summer 2019 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 59, printed August 23. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Summer 2019 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

The ACLU of Virginia, in collaboration with global law firm White & Case LLP, has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections seeking to end the practice of solitary confinement in two of VDOC’s most notorious prisons. 

The lawsuit was filed May 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of people who have suffered in torturous conditions, some for decades, at Red Onion and Wallens Ridge state prisons. 

Both facilities, super maximum-security prisons located in the far southwest corner of the state, were designed to hold people in near-constant isolation and deprivation.

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