1. Vermont—The ACLU of Vermont and the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School filed a class action lawsuit challenging the state’s refusal to treat hundreds of inmates with Hepatitis C, Vermont Business Magazine reports. The law- suit claims that the inmates are systematically denied medication that would cure their chronic Hepatitis C, which they claim violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment as well as the Americans with Dis- abilities Act. The inmates are asking the court to end prison officials’ policy of categorically denying effective, efficient and medically appropriate treatment.
2. Michigan, Jackson— Hakim Crampton was charged with homicide in Milwaukee in 1991 on an- other person’s false confession. Crampton spent 15 years in prison before he was granted parole, after working to prove his innocence, WLNS reports. More than 10 years later, he’s collaborated with schools across Michigan and built a curriculum called SLAM that helps kids stay engaged with their work through poetry and lyrics.
3. Illinois—In late January, prison staff removed dozens of books from the Danville prison library Illinois Pub- lic Media reports. The titles include “Visiting Day,” a children’s book about visiting a parent in prison by author, Jacqueline Wood- son; two titles written by Black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., a book by philosopher Cornel West, “Up From Slavery” by Booker T. Washington, and “Map- ping Your Future: A Guide to Successful Reentry 2017- 2018” written by the college in prison program’s reentry team. A majority of the books removed from the program’s library are about race.
4. Michigan —A federal judge ruled that the state’s sex offender registry is unconstitutional — the registry lets the public see local offenders in their area, CNN reports. The judge gave officials until September to bring the registry to constitutional levels.
5. Arizona—Prisoners are billed for medical procedures that should be billed to the state, KJZZ reports. The charges show up on credit reports, which add to returning citizens’ challenges.
6. New York— Prison officials cite a drop in crime as well as incarceration rates for the closure of two prisons, the Daily News reports. The Lincoln Correctional Facility, located at the northern edge of Central Park is scheduled to close before September. The Livingston Correctional Facility in upstate New York is also scheduled to be closed, prison officials say.
7. Oklahoma—Mother Jones reports that last year, Oklahoma beat out Louisiana for the label the “world’s prison capital” by incarcerating a higher proportion of its residents than any other state or country. Lawmakers and concerned Oklahomans seek to reform the state’s criminal justice system. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt campaigned on a promise to reduce the prison population, however, the state’s prison population is expected grow by 14% over the next decade, according to an analysis by FWD.us, an immigration and criminal justice reform advocacy group co-founded by Face- book CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
8. Oregon—A judge last May ordered the state to house a transgender female inmate in a cell separate from male inmates and to protect her from harassment, Oregon Live reports. The decision is believed to be a first in the state at a men’s prison.