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ACLU files federal suit against corrections center

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a federal lawsuit this week against the Marion County Community Corrections Center in Indianapolis, alleging the facility's conditions violate the Constitution and threaten health and safety of inmates.

Filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court ;s Southern District in Indianapolis, the suit alleges that conditions at 147 E. Maryland St. remain deplorable despite improvements made in past months and more planned on the horizon. Specifically, the suit cites overcrowding and an Indiana Department of Correction report released in January that detailed leaking sewage, mold in the ventilation system, and security concerns. Inmate population has also been decreased from 340 to about 200.

Some of those issues have been addressed, but ACLU-IN legal director Ken Falk said the improvements to the 100-year-old facility are not enough and have happened too slowly.

The suit seeks class-action certification but is on behalf of inmate Anthony Buford-Lewis III, who's been incarcerated there since Feb. 2 for a probation violation on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence. The suit claims he has been exposed to these "dangerous conditions" but also notes he is expected to be released next week.

This is the latest in a string of suits filed by the ACLU-IN regarding jail conditions. One filed in January on behalf of Grant County inmates claims the county jail is understaffed and overcrowding has contributed to fights and decreased safety. That suit is pending in the Fort Wayne division of the U.S. District Court's Northern District of Indiana.

According to the ACLU-IN Web site, at least six similar overcrowding or jail condition suits are ongoing or have been recently settled from counties that include Gibson, Elkhart, Knox, Brown, and Vanderburgh counties. The organization reports that it continues monitoring those situations to ensure compliance.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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