AVID - Amplifying Voices of Incarcerated Individuals with Disabilities
Report: Many Faces of SolitaryJanuary 10, 2023Read the latest AVID report on the current state of solitary confinement in Washington State and the call for reform.
The Many Faces of Solitary Confinement in Washington Prisons
In December 2022 the AVID program released a report outlining the current state of solitary in Washington prisons and calling for reform. The report was accompanied by a video featuring a person currently in solitary, explaining the harms of solitary and the need for change.
Summer 2021: AVID UpdateSeptember 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 communitiesJuly 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.
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/JailsApril 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 PrisonsApril 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 Program receives 2019 Paul H. Chapman AwardOctober 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. SinclairJuly 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 FrenchmanApril 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.”
DRW’s AVID Program and Yakima County Jail Reach Agreement to Reform Mental Health ServicesJanuary 11, 2019In December 2018, Disability Rights Washington’s AVID Program finalized a settlement agreement with Yakima County to improve the conditions for individuals with mental illness and other cognitive disabilities housed at Yakima County Jail. This settlement agreement was the product of about two years of collaboration and will be monitored by the AVID Program and a neutral expert to ensure the Yakima County Jail’s compliance with the terms of the agreement.
DRW v. Yakima County
In 2021, Disability Rights Washington and Yakima County agreed to extend the monitoring period of the settlement agreement for an additional year. Yakima County has made significant changes, and additional work is planned to further improve conditions for people with disabilities.