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Criminal Justice Reform
Landmark Case

Date Filed

January 15, 1992

Mental health experts described the conditions for Alabama's seriously mentally ill prisoners as "horrific" and "primitive." Mentally ill inmates were locked in isolation, usually without proper medication, and deprived of professional mental health services such as therapy and counseling. The Center sued and secured change for the inmates.

Criminal Justice Reform
Active Case

Date Filed

February 20, 2019

The city of New Orleans operates a sophisticated video surveillance system throughout town. While city employees frequently provide police and prosecutors with video footage to aid criminal cases, the city will not even provide a simple map of the camera locations to aid attorneys representing...

Hate & Extremism
Landmark Case

Date Filed

November 22, 1989

In 1988, racist Skinheads beat an Ethiopian graduate student to death with a baseball bat. Mulugeta Seraw was murdered by recruits of neo-Nazi leader Tom Metzger, founder of White Aryan Resistance (WAR), who faced a Center civil suit and a $12.5 million judgment.

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.

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