On Demand Audio

Updates on Civil Rights Litigation in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis in Jails and Prison

(94 reviews)

Produced on January 19, 2021

$ 89 Constitutional, Litigation, Civil Rights, Covid-19, and Anti-Racism Library In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 4m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This program, presented by Andrea Woods and Brandon Buskey from the ACLU, will review recent civil rights litigation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our nation’s jails and prisons. The program will discuss the public health and constitutional theories raised by this litigation, review the major cases and decisions 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 preventing transmission of COVID-19, and the unique challenges carceral settings pose
  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 future iterations of the work as the disease progresses

Credit Information

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Brandon Buskey

American Civil Liberties Union

Brandon has been with the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project since 2012. His work focuses on reforming pretrial justice, expanding the right to counsel, juvenile sentencing, and residency restrictions for former sexual offenders. Prior to the ACLU, Brandon worked at the Equal Justice Initiative and the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. He is a 2006 graduate of New York University Law School, where he was a Root-Tilden Kern and AnBryce Scholar. Following law school he clerked for the Honorable Janet C. Hall of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

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.


Karthik N.

Good Stuff!!

Wayne H.

Really clear presentation. Speakers were easy to listen to, practical, knowledgeable.

Frank C.

Good presentation and not what I expected to hear!

Christopher L.

Very good presentation, although unfortunate that the case outcomes have not been as successful as one would have wanted.

Catherine D.

very important information and well presented

Stuart P.

Great course, keep up the good work ACLU

James S.

Excellent presentation.

David D.


Anthony R.

Thank you!

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