Charlottesville attorney, ACLU claim Virginia Department of Corrections not complying with lawsuit settlement

Charlottesville attorney, ACLU claim Virginia Department of Corrections not complying with lawsuit settlement

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville lawyer says the state is not doing enough to help prisoners during the coronavirus pandemic, even after settling a lawsuit about the issue.

Elliott Harding and the Virginia American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against Virginia’s government alleging the state was violating the rights of medically vulnerable prisoners by failing to keep them safe from COVID-19. The case was settled out of court in May.

However, both Harding and the ACLU are now saying that since the suit was settled, the state has not been doing enough to keep up its end of the bargain on multiple levels.

“At the time of the agreement, the DOC was claiming to be able to review and process up to 30 cases a day. When I say cases, reviewing the background for approval or denial of the segments,” Attorney Elliott Harding, who argued the case, said. “Just last week they only processed 27 in the entire week.”

So far, the Virginia Department of Corrections says it has reviewed 765 applications, and released 301. The DOC incarcerates 30,000 prisoners as of June 2019.

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