On Demand Audio

COVID-19 in Jails and Prisons: Civil Rights Litigation in Response to the Crisis

(573 reviews)

Produced on May 11, 2020

Taught by
$ 89 Criminal, Civil Rights, Covid-19, and Anti-Racism Library In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 3m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This program, presented by Andrea Woods, Staff Attorney with the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, will provide an overview of civil rights litigation in response to the COVID-19 disaster in our nation’s jails and prisons. The course will provide an overview of both the public health and constitutional theories raised by this litigation, review of some of the cases and decisions entered to date, and discuss possible steps for the future of the work.

This program will benefit civil rights litigators, criminal defense practitioners, and law clerks.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the public health guidance around social distancing to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and the unique challenges posed by carceral settings 
  2. Identify the constitutional and federal statutory claims that incarcerated people or organizations that work on their behalf can raise in response to the threat of COVID-19
  3. Discuss the state of litigation in this area to date, and outcomes in key cases
  4. Consider the best applications of this work, and how this litigation may evolve as the pandemic progresses 

Credit Information

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Andrea Woods

American Civil Liberties Union

Andrea Woods is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project. She focuses on bail and pretrial justice, seeking to end wealth-based pretrial detention, dramatically reduce our nation’s use of jails, and eliminate the exploitation of people who have been arrested. More recently, she has led the ACLU’s litigation response to the crisis presented by COVID-19 in jails. She has brought challenges to post-arrest systems of incarceration due to inability to pay money bail, inadequate access to public defenders, for-profit pretrial GPS conditions, overbroad systems of pretrial detention, the right of public access to court proceedings, and the extortionate practice of bounty hunting.  She also engages in policy advocacy in dozens of states, including the dangers of pretrial risk assessments. Her work has been featured in the Guardian, the Appeal, CNBC, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dallas Morning News, and numerous other local news outlets. Andrea has worked in public defender offices, the anti-death penalty movement, and the Innocence Project Northwest as a law student. She was a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholar at the University of Washington, graduating in 2014. Prior to joining the ACLU, Andrea clerked for the Hon. John C. Coughenour of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.


Aurelius W.

Andrea's commitment is palpable. Would like to see her present more often along with other similarly invested public interest attorneys.

William H.

On Point! I thought that I was the only one who knew this process... but this video 100% speaks the truth!! I am glad there are others out there who share my frustration regarding the complexities of the BOP administrative process + Available Federal Court Remedies. Well Done!

Carol M.

Heartfelt presentation

Matthew G.

Useful info for defense against such claims the presenter describes.

Cathleen W.

Really excellent overview.

Jo M.

I hope this seminar will be updated with more recent information on the impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated populations.

James R.

The presenter did an excellent job. Her presentation was clear, detailed and easy to follow. I wish all presenters were as good.

Jason J.

well done

David M.

Outstanding presenter.

Dennis Y.

Very well done.

William U.

Crucial topic, fine presentation.

Erin D.

Great course

Courtney M.

Informative and passionate. Great course!

Susan M.

Presenter was excellent.

David H.

Excellent presenter

Richard S.

Well done.

Howard B.

Found course to be very helpful in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Edward M.

Good presentation.

mark s.

thank you for the on point information

Anne R.

Knowledgeable and the pace was great for comprehension. Sometimes presenters whiz through slides too quickly. Perfect here!

John B.

Well done!

Lori F.

very informative and clear presentation regarding essential topic

Kathleen S.

Very timely

Melissa H.

I had a few issues with streaming, but they resolved themselves fairly quickly.

Steven K.

Very timely! Thank you!

Linda C.

Very good speaker.

Ferdinando ("Fred") P.

Very Informative

Ahban S.

This was a great course.

Peter B.

Very timely

Ann R.

Thank you to the ACLU.

Mark S.

Excellent presentation, thank you!

Michael C.

important topic

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