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Criminal Justice Reform
Landmark Case

Date Filed

January 01, 1979

The United States Supreme Court struck down Alabama's "kill 'em or let 'em go" death penalty statute in a landmark decision that reversed the Alabama State Supreme Court and vacated the death sentences of plaintiff Gilbert Beck and 10 other men on death row.

Criminal Justice Reform

Date Filed

May 13, 2003

Due to a lack of access to doctors and long delays in diagnosis and treatment, seriously ill inmates at one of Alabama's maximum-security prisons sued to receive adequate healthcare.

News
Active Case

Date Filed

August 07, 2017

People awaiting trial before a criminal court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were coerced into paying hundreds of dollars to a company before they were released from jail – even after they had paid their bail. The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit with the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of...

Criminal Justice Reform
Landmark Case

Date Filed

May 15, 1995

In 1995, Alabama corrections officials brought back the barbarity of chain gangs. The Center sued, claiming that chaining men in groups of five and putting them on busy highways was cruel and dangerous. The lawsuit put an end to the Alabama chain gang and another torturous practice called the "hitching post."

LGBTQ Rights

Date Filed

February 19, 2015

After a transgender woman in the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections was denied medically necessary treatment and sexually assaulted by other inmates at a men’s prison, the SPLC filed a federal lawsuit demanding prison officials provide safe placement for the prisoner and medically necessary care, including hormone therapy. The suit also sought an end to prison policies that deny transgender inmates such medical treatment.

Children's Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

July 11, 2016

Mississippi funded its charter schools through an unconstitutional scheme that diverted public tax dollars from traditional public schools. The SPLC filed a lawsuit in state court to end the funding system.

The lawsuit called for the court to strike down the funding provisions of the...

Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

August 23, 2010

Angel Francisco Castro-Torres was riding his bicycle in Smyrna, Ga., when he was stopped by two Cobb County police officers. According to their own report, the officers stopped him after observing his race. The officers demanded Castro’s identification and questioned his immigration status. He was also beaten – resulting in a broken nose and eye socket – and arrested. He required surgery to repair the damage to this eye. A settlement agreement was reached nearly nine months after the lawsuit was filed.

Children's Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

October 17, 2018

After the U.S. Department of Education failed to fully comply with public records requests that could shed light on the gun lobby’s possible role in the department not standing in the way of states and school districts using federal funds to arm educators, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the...

Children's Rights

Date Filed

September 08, 2010

Public schools in Jackson, Miss., often failed to provide students with disabilities the services mandated by federal law and needed for these students to succeed in the classroom. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a formal complaint on behalf of these students with the Mississippi Department of Education, which found the district had violated major components of the federal law that ensures students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

June 08, 2011

Students at Jackson Public School District’s Capital City Alternative School have regularly been disciplined for minor infractions, such as not wearing a belt or for wearing mismatched shoelaces, by being shackled for hours at a time to a fixed object. The lawsuit was filed after Jackson Public Schools refused to respond to a demand letter requesting that the school district end these practices.

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