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MacArthur Justice Center Takes Missouri Prison and Parole System to Task Again – Sues Over State’s Failure to Provide Process or Lawyers before Revoking Parole

The MacArthur Justice Center at St. Louis (MJC-STL) filed a federal class action lawsuit yesterday in the Western District of Missouri, alleging the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) and its Division of Probation and Parole (Parole Board) have been ignoring decades-old constitutional standards in conducting parole revocation proceedings.  In doing so MDOC and the Parole Board have been unlawfully re-incarcerating thousands of people each year.

LAURA WASHINGTON: FBI report raises specter of false confessions

MacArthur Justice Center's client Terrill Swift, one of the wrongfully convicted Englewood Four, sat down with Chicago Sun-Times’ Laura Washington to discuss the importance of the recently released FBI report, the “302”, which details case-specific and systemic misconduct.

Macarthur Justice Center Executive Director Locke Bowman, Terrill’s counsel, joined the conversation to emphasize the persistent concern about the State’s Attorney’s Felony Review Unit, which has historically served as the mechanism of collusion between prosecutors and police to facilitate false confessions.

MacArthur Justice Center Sues Private Prison for Withholding Information

Allen Correctional Center ignores repeated inquiries into inmates held in segregation

Know Your Rights If You Get Arrested

David M. Shapiro is featured as one of the legal experts offering guidance on what to do if arrested.

Parole anything but certain for juvenile lifers a year after Missouri changed law

St. Louis Public Radio coverage of the Missouri parole system's disregard of offenders who were sentenced as juveniles and are now entitled to a meaningful opportunity for release under recent Supreme Court rulings. 

Lawsuit: 2 Held More Than 5 Months Past Release Dates

Associated Press coverage of the lawsuit filed on behalf of two individuals, Jessie Crittindon and Leon Burse, who were held in custody for five months after their release dates.

Class Action Certified Against Missouri Department of Corrections for Denial of Care for Detainees with Chronic Hepatitis C

A federal judge has certified that lawsuit, brought forth by the MacArthur Justice Center of St. Louis and the ACLU of Missouri, challenging the Missouri Department of Corrections’ (MDOC) systematic denial of medication to inmates with chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) can move forward as a class action.

MacArthur Center claims ‘Interfering with an Officer’ law is unconstitutional, legal brief says County law confuses protest with riot

On July 19, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center of St. Louis, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, filed an Amici Curiae brief in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, urging the court to invalidate St. Louis County’s “Interfering with an Officer” law.

Louisiana State Prison Obstructs Investigation into Disability Abuse Allegations - Federal Lawsuit Brought by Advocacy Group Asks Court to Order Access

A federal lawsuit filed by the MacArthur Justice Center of New Orleans and the Advocacy Center of Louisiana that argues that the Louisiana Department of Corrections and David Wade Correctional Center (DWCC) have deliberately impeded an investigation into allegations of serious neglect and abuse of prisoners with disabilities.

Lawsuit: Chicago Police Department’s Inaccurate, Racially Biased Gang Database led ICE to Target Dreamer for Deportation

Federal civil rights lawsuit filed against the Chicago Police Department on behalf of an immigrant who was falsely labeled a gang member, which triggered his arrest, imprisonment and imminent deportation to a country he left when he was 5 years old. 

No Lives Matter? Pro-Cop Bill Would Make It Law of the Land

MacArthur Justice Center's David M. Shapiro's op-ed about the Back the Blue Act, pending before Congress, which would make it impossible for victims of police violence to bring federal civil rights lawsuits against overly aggressive officers. 

The Administration's Travel Ban Guidance Falls Short of Good Faith

MacArthur Justice Center-Washington D.C. Director Amir Ali's legal analysis of the Trump Administration's enforcement policy on the travel ban, following the announcement by the Supreme Court.

Locke Bowman Appears on WTTW's Chicago Tonight to Discuss Indictments in Laquan McDonald case

MacArthur Justice Center's Executive Director Locke Bowman appeared on WTTW's Chicago Tonight to discuss the importance of the Laquan McDonald indictments, particularly as a signal to Chicago Police that participating in the "code of silence" is a criminal activity. Also appearing on the show, Friends of the Police (FOP) President Kevin Graham, who repeated his outright refusal to even acknowledge a code of silence.

Settlement Will Stop Four Mississippi Counties from Jailing People Indefinitely Because They Can’t Afford Bail

Article from Ebony magazine on the Mississippi settlement reaffirming pre-trial right to counsel and striking down wealth-based detention.

Settlement Will Stop Four Mississippi Counties from Jailing People Indefinitely Without a Lawyer or Because They Can't Afford Bail

 The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Mississippi today announced a settlement agreement in their federal class-action suit Burks v. Scott County, Mississippi, which challenged the county’s practice of detaining people who can’t afford an attorney for as long as a year without appointing counsel and without formally charging them with a crime. The settlement agreement and the accompanying order issued by United States District Judge Henry T. Wingate require Scott County and three other counties to end this practice by appointing public defenders at arrest. Providing legal representation so much earlier in the process will ensure that arrestees have attorneys at their first bail hearings to argue for lower bail amounts and release until trial. The settlement agreement and court order also prohibit the counties from detaining felony arrestees solely because they can’t afford money bail, a blow to unconstitutional wealth-based incarceration.  The settlement further affirms defendants’ fundamental right to release prior to trial on the least restrictive conditions needed to secure defendants’ presence at trial.

Lawsuit Targets Orleans Magistrate Judge Cantrell’s Unjust Bond Practice

Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell consistently sets high bail without legal justification. He then requires that bail be paid through a commercial bond company, so the Court can collect its share of the fees. The court supports as much as 25% of its budget on the backs of those least able to afford it, for expenses such as salaries and travel.

If Judge Cantrell won't respect the justice system, then we will take him to court. 

New Orleans Judge Funds His Court By Setting Bonds People Can’t Afford, Lawsuit Claims

Huffington Post's coverage of our lawsuit with the Civil Rights Corps against Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell and his unjust bond practices.

Statement from Locke Bowman, Executive Director, MacArthur Justice Center

Statement in response to Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes' indictments of Former Detective David March and Patrol Officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney as part of the investigation into the Laquan McDonald case

The US supreme court offers Muslims protection - and discrimination - at once

MacArthur Justice Center-Washington D.C.'s Amir Ali lays out for The Guardian concerns that the Supreme Court's travel ban decision will cause even greater discrimination against Muslims at the border.

For federal oversight of police reform to work, pressure from the community must continue

Chicago Reader's coverage of Campbell v. City of Chicago, our class action lawsuit against the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department, featuring MacArthur Justice Center's Sheila Bedi, one of the lead counsel in the case. 

Lisa, Laquanda, Machelle and Kenya Were Sentenced as Children to Die in Prison

MacArthur Justice Center - St. Louis Director Mae Quinn is featured detailing the relatively little positive change in the Missouri Parole Board, despite Supreme Court rulings

Why Justice Can Be Impossible to Come By When a Prisoner Dies Behind Bars

MacArthur Justice Center's David M. Shapiro is quoted on the difficulty of prosecution

Landmark Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against the City of Chicago Alleging Racially Discriminatory Policing and Violent Police Abuse

Chicago – A class action lawsuit seeking federal court oversight of the Chicago Police Department’s (“CPD’s”) operations has been filed on behalf of thousands of individuals, predominately Blacks and Latinxs, who have been subjected to the CPD’s policy and practice of using force in racially discriminatory and often brutal ways. Also joining the lawsuit are a number of community-based organizations that are deeply-rooted in Chicago’s Black and Latinx communities, including Black Lives Matter-Chicago, Blocks Together, the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Justice for Families, Women’s All Point Bulletin, Network 49, and the 411 Movement for Pierre Loury.

MO Parole Board member Don Ruzicka resigns after investigation reveals he played 'parole bingo' with inmates’ futures

Don Ruzicka resigns from the Missouri Parole Board after MacArthur Justice Center-St. Louis makes public the IG report that exposes his disregard of parole proceedings

Missouri officials toyed with inmates during parole hearings

Associated Press' coverage MacArthur Justice Center - St. Louis' call for reform of the Missouri Board of Parole and Probation. 

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