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On September 20, the Chief Judge Christopher Conner of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted a preliminary injunction ordering the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to begin a “step-down” program to return Arthur Johnson to the general prison population. In reaching his decision, Judge Conner stated: “For the past thirty-six years, […]

Mumia

Federal Court Finds DOC’s Hepatitis C Protocol Unconstitutional But Requires New Defendants Be Added to Lawsuit Before Ordering Treatment for Mumia Abu-Jamal  September 1, 2016: Federal district court judge Robert Mariani denied political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s request for a preliminary injunction on Wednesday, August 1st that would have forced the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) […]

Maroon after his release from solitary confinement

russellmaroonshoatz.com  July 11, 2016: Pittsburgh PA —A settlement has been reached in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel, which challenged the 22-year solitary confinement of Abolitionist Law Center client and political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. This brings an end to litigation begun in 2013. In February 2014, following an international campaign on behalf of Shoatz, […]

May 13, 2016: Lawyers for Arthur Johnson, a 63-year-old man in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) at State Correctional Institution Frackville, filed a lawsuit today challenging his long-term solitary confinement. Mr. Johnson has been held in isolation since 1979.

On Friday, March 11, attorneys for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal filed their post-hearing brief in support of Abu-Jamal’s motion for a preliminary injunction ordering the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to provide him with treatment for his hepatitis C.

ShoatzDN

February 22, 2016: Pittsburgh PA — On Friday, February 12, United States District Magistrate for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Cynthia Reed Eddy, issued a decision denying both parties’ motions for summary judgment and ordering a trial in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel, which challenges the 22 year solitary confinement of Abolitionist Law Center […]

SCI Fayette and MCC's Coal Ash Dump, Google Earth 2014

I was previously incarcerated at the Fayette institution from February 2011 until February 2013. During my time there, I was both a witness to and victim of the toxic environment. On so many mornings I remember leaving my housing unit (C-Block B-side) en route to the Facility dining hall, at which time I would witness a dusty substance that was very thick and made it difficult to see any farther than nine to twelve feet in any direction. I would eat the morning meal, then return to the housing unit. Before locking into my assigned prison cell, I would have to shake out my clothing to remove the same dusty substance. It would be all over the floor in front of the cell and I would have to clean it up with toilet tissue.

Right-left coalition on Mass Incarceration

ALC legal director Bret Grote was recently interviewed for The Real News Network on the Republican-Democratic bipartisan criminal justice re-branding and cooptation initiative. Tough on crime mass incarceration has generated too much discontent, so now they are calling it “smart on crime” and offering marginal reforms in an attempt to stem a growing legitimacy crisis. […]

Mumia

August 3, 2015: Attorneys for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal filed an amended lawsuit today in the Middle District of Pennsylvania federal court to challenge prison medical staff’s denial of necessary medical treatment – denial that nearly killed Abu-Jamal earlier this year.

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Final Update – July 26, 2015 – Thank you all for supporting Abolitionist Law Center and helping to get the word out about our work! With your help we were able to raise exactly $10,000, which is nearly double what we raised from crowdfunding last year. More than 6 times as many tweets were sent out about this campaign, and nearly twice as many Facebook posts. This growing support will embolden us to push even harder against race and class based mass incarceration.