WSMH FOX 66 on Facebook WSMH FOX 66 Twitter WSMH FOX 66 RSS Feed WSMH FOX 66 Mailing List
 

FOX 66 News at Ten

WSMH FOX 66 :: News - News at Ten - ACLU reaches agreement with Isabella Co. over jail
ACLU reaches agreement with Isabella Co. over jail

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has reached a deal with Isabella County that settles claims the county jail wasn't treating female inmates fairly and didn't allow all inmates enough time outside their cells.

The ACLU of Michigan sued the county last year on behalf of inmates at the Mount Pleasant facility. It announced the settlement Thursday, saying the county now is letting inmates exercise outside their cells and is providing women with equal access to work.

The advocacy group had said women inmates were being denied access to opportunities that were available to men.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday with Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski, who said last year he wanted to work with the ACLU on the issues it raised.

"This settlement is a textbook example of how jail officials and civil rights advocates can work together to protect the basic human rights of prisoners," said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan. "We congratulate Isabella County for abolishing its former policy of locking down all inmates 24/7 without any opportunity to exercise outside the cell. The new exercise policy not only brings the jail into compliance with constitutional standards, but it enhances security by reducing violence and improving the mental health of inmates."

The facility, located in Mount Pleasant, houses about 200 pre-trial detainees and sentenced inmates from not only Isabella County, but also cities such as Livonia, Midland and Westland. Prior to the settlement agreement, inmates were not permitted any out-of-cell exercise for the duration of their detention, which can exceed one year.

Additionally, women were denied the opportunities male prisoners had to serve as "trustees," or trusted inmates who are permitted time out of their cells to perform prison jobs.

Under the settlement, jail officials must usually give inmates the opportunity to use a recreation room with exercise equipment for a minimum of an hour, five days a week. They must also make "best efforts" must be made to allow out-of-cell recreation seven days a week. 

The county further agreed to adopt a policy to ensure that women inmates could be trustees and that the percentage of trustees who were female reflected their presence in overall jail population. Finally, the federal court will have the ability to enforce the settlement for five years if, for some reason, jail officials violate its terms.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ACLU reaches agreement with Isabella Co. over jail

Monday, October 7 2013, 01:59 PM EDT

National News Headlines

Rural museum's WWII exhibit saved from scope of new gun laws
Tough new gun controls in the state of Washington had the director of a small-town museum ready to pull nearly a dozen guns from a World War II exhibit, until a local firearms dealer helped him ensure the display was legal.

Authorities say Florida man who shot deputy had threatened police before
A man who had made previous threats against police set his house on fire Saturday and ambushed the first sheriff's deputy who responded, fatally shooting the deputy and wounding another before he was killed by a police officer who lives nearby, a law enforcement official said.

Rhodes Trust names 32 US students to receive full scholarships to pursue studies at Oxford
The Rhodes Trust says 32 U.S. men and women have been named Rhodes scholars and will enter Oxford University next October.

University of Virginia suspends fraternity activities after sex assault claim
The University of Virginia on Saturday suspended activities at all campus fraternal organizations amid an investigation into a published report in which a student described being sexually assaulted by seven men at a fraternity in 2012.

Police say naked man crashed through ceiling, attacked elderly man at Boston airport
State police say a man stripped inside a women's bathroom at Boston's Logan Airport, climbed into a dropped ceiling, crashed through it and landed on the floor, then assaulted an elderly man while he was still naked and bleeding.

As barricades go up, Ferguson awaits grand jury decision; group says no decision reached
Crews erected barricades around the building where a grand jury has been considering whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, even as a grand jury decision seemed unlikely this weekend.

Police officer in Cleveland shoots, wounds 12-year-old boy brandishing fake gun at rec center
Police say a 12-year-old boy brandishing what turned out to be a fake gun at a Cleveland recreation center was shot and wounded by a responding officer.

Police: Dad accidentally shoots adult son to death during hunting trip in New Jersey
Police say a father has accidentally shot and killed his adult son during a hunting trip in New Jersey.

Ferguson grand jury decision unlikely this weekend, sources say
The grand jury considering whether to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown are unlikely to meet and render a verdict this weekend, sources told Fox News Saturday.

Bighorn sheep bolts from Los Angeles Zoo, gets struck by hit-and-run driver near Griffith Park
Police say a bighorn sheep that escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo was struck by a driver who fled the scene.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix