Florida newspapers win Pulitzer Prize for investigation of Florida mental health system

The Tampa Bay Times and Saratoga Herald-Tribune were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism April 18 for its year-long investigation into Florida’s network of state-run mental health hospitals. “Florida’s state-funded mental hospitals are supposed to be safe…
Map of Florida, USA

Florida passes bill to protect people with autism when being interviewed by the police

Florida will soon become the first state to implement protections for people with autism spectrum disorders in police interrogations. Under the Wes Kleinert Fair Interview Act [PDF], signed by Governor Rick Scott on April 1, people with ASD will…
utah flag waving in the wind against a blue sky

Utah settles lawsuit with inmate with disabilities in sex offender program

The state of Utah will pay a former inmate $60,000 in damages for failing to accommodate him in a sex offender treatment program, extending his period of incarceration for years. In 1996, a jury sentenced Richard Ramirez to five years…

Settlement reached to improve ADA compliance in Alabama prisons

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disability Advocacy Program announced a settlement with the Alabama Department of Corrections on March 16 to settle a range of disability accessibility complaints in the state’s prison system, partially resolving a class-action

Ricardo | AVID Jail Project

King County Jail (KCJ), located in Seattle, Washington, is reconsidering how it responds to inmates who attempt suicide or hurt themselves. As it stands, KCJ and many other correctional facilities all over the country punish inmates for acts of self-harm.…
jail cell bars and shadows

California’s Santa Barbara County Jail slammed in new report

The Santa Barbara County Jail regularly confines people with disabilities in solitary confinement and denies them basic health care and Americans with Disabilities Act protections, Disability Rights California alleged in a scathing new report [PDF], released February 23. During…
Photo of a telecommunications device, a hand is holding the phone receiver

Disability advocates weigh in on prison phone-call reforms

Two prominent disability rights organizations recently submitted public comments [PDF] to the Federal Communications Commission, calling on the agency to mandate expanded accessible telephone options for inmates. “The result of the current communication paradigm is that prisoners who are deaf…
A correctional facility living area

Agreement reached to overhaul Oregon prison

Disability Rights Oregon and the state Department of Corrections have reached a Memorandum of Understanding [PDF], agreeing to reduce solitary confinement and improve services for people with mental illness at the Oregon State Penitentiary’s Behavioral Health Unit. The announcement,…
desks and chairs in an empty classroom

DOJ uncovers extensive IDEA violations in Mississippi youth detention facility

The Department of Justice, in a letter issued to state officials January 12, slammed the state of Mississippi for failing to remedy a variety of federal special education law violations at a juvenile detention facility, first identified by the…