is archive

Summer 2021: AVID Update

September 10, 2021In the summer of 2021, DRW’s AVID program staff and legal interns conducted monitoring in five of the Washington State Department of Corrections’ main prison facilities. During our trips we focused on solitary confinement units and missioned housing such as the residential treatment unit, the assisted living unit, the senior unit, and the unit for people with cognitive disabilities.

Attorney General tells law makers that no statute limits people with disabilities from living in their communities

July 28, 2021In its July 27, 2021 opinion, the Attorney General’s Office smacked down the notion that there might be some legally permissible way to draft zoning or other local laws that would create categorical limits or exclusions of people with disabilities from certain communities in our state. The opinion is a long awaited response to a request made by a state legislator and a letter sent by DRW and other organizations in 2019.

Julia Bladin

July 13, 2021Julia joined the AVID team as a summer intern in 2021 and is currently a 2L at the University of

Lily Parker

May 24, 2021Lily (she/her/hers) joined the AVID team at DRW in 2021 as a summer intern. She is currently a rising 2L

Cassandra Geiken

May 24, 2021Cassie joined the AVID team as a summer intern in 2021. She is currently a 3L at the University of

Does v. Washington Department of Corrections

On April 7, 2021, Disability Rights Washington (DRW); the ACLU of Washington; Munger, Tolles & Olson; and MacDonald, Hoague & Bayless sued the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) on behalf of a group of people who are currently and formerly incarcerated. Several parties, including media entities and an individual, had requested information through the Washington Public Records Act about people whom DOC has identified as transgender, non-binary, and intersex. This emergency lawsuit was necessary to protect the safety and privacy of people identified by DOC as transgender, non-binary, and intersex.

Washington Department of Corrections (DOC), Washington DOC Health Plan [PDF]

May 26, 2020The Washington DOC Health Plan describes the medical and mental health care services available to individuals incarcerated in Washington State

AVID Program Calls for Action to Stop the Spread of COVID19 in WA Prisons/Jails

April 22, 2020DRW urges the Governor to continue releasing people who are at risk of COVID-19, focusing on those most vulnerable to infection due to age and disability. These release decisions should be holistic, and not solely based on an individual’s prior offenses.

Urge Gov. Inslee to Use His Executive Powers to Save Lives in WA Prisons

April 6, 2020This weekend, the first incarcerated individual in a Washington prison tested positive for COVID-19. As this pandemic continues to spread across Washington and the nation, Tell the Governor to protect individuals in our prisons and jails and keep all Washingtonians safe.

AVID’s Trans in Prison Justice Project Provides Identity-Affirming Support

November 5, 2019This summer, DRW’s AVID Program and Trans in Prison Justice Project were proud to be selected as the host for the 2019 QLAW Sher Kung Summer Fellowship. We welcomed Tommy Statkiewicz to the team and he got to work right away on a big project – providing legal representation for 9 transgender clients to be able to access legal name changes while incarcerated.

AVID Program receives 2019 Paul H. Chapman Award

October 2, 2019Last weekend, AVID Program attorney Rachael Seevers traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to accept a 2019 Paul H. Chapman Award from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice.

Settlement Approved in Disability Rights Washington v. Sinclair

July 11, 2019In April 2018, Disability Rights Washington and co-counsel Paukert and Troppmann filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the Department of Corrections’ practice of housing inmates with mental health needs in overly restrictive custodial settings at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. Last week a settlement agreement was approved by the federal court in this case.

Ethan Frenchman

April 15, 2019Ethan Frenchman is an attorney with Disability Rights Washington’s AVID Program, working to investigate and litigate cases that protect and

DRW’s AVID Program Responds to KOMO’s “Seattle is Dying”

April 9, 2019Disability Rights Washington has appreciated previous efforts by KOMO to report thoughtfully and fairly about certain injustices faced by people with disabilities in our region. This is why we are deeply discouraged and perplexed by KOMO’s choice to produce and air its sensationalized, inaccurate, and exploitative special report about Seattle’s opioid and homelessness crises, “Seattle is Dying.”