The ACLU of Connecticut, representing the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (CCDLA) and people who are incarcerated, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court seeking emergency action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the number of people who are incarcerated in Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) prisons and jails. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the CCDLA and six people who are incarcerated, including one with an autoimmune condition, one who is over the age of sixty, one who is scheduled for release next month, and one who is being held for want of a $5,000 bond and has only one lung.
The suit asks the Court to order Governor Ned Lamont and DOC Commissioner Rollin Cook to immediately release people who are vulnerable to serious illness based on CDC heightened risk factors, being held pre-trial on lesser charges or low bond amounts, being held solely for technical violation of probation or parole, eligible for home confinement or supervised release, or within six months of the end of their sentence. The suit also asks the Court to require Lamont and Cook to submit, for the Court’s review, a plan to: provide hygiene, social distancing, diagnoses, and treatment for people who remain incarcerated; approve residential placements within seven days for those eligible for release; and fund transitional housing for those without residences to go to upon release.
Joining the ACLU of Connecticut in representing the CCDLA and incarcerated people are lawyers from Yale Law School’s Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization.