ACLU joins state prison lawsuit

May 30, 2013

A lawsuit over health care in prisons in Illinois is getting a boost from the American Civil Liberties Union.  IPR’s Robert Wildeboer reports.

 A federal class action lawsuit in Illinois charges the department of corrections and a private healthcare company with providing wholly inadequate health care to inmates.

 The suit was filed by Alan Mills who runs the Uptown People’s Law Center which focuses on prison issues.

 Mills says the ACLU is joining the case and brings lots of experience to the table in civil rights and class action cases.

 MILLS: We’re a very small operation and we have lots of expertise in the way the prisons work but don’t have the horses to do this alone so I think everybody brings to the table here some really good skills which will allow us to bring this case through to a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor.

 Mills says, so far, Wexford, the private health care company with a contract to care for the inmates, and the department of corrections have refused to sit down and discuss a possible settlement. Wexford and the department of corrections did not immediately have a comment on the lawsuit.