Blog of Rights

Margaret
Winter

Margaret Winter is Associate Director of the ACLU National Prison Project. She has litigated prison and jail reform cases in federal trial and appellate courts around the nation and has argued and won a prisoner’s rights case in the U.S. Supreme Court. She has won ground-breaking remedial decrees in class action cases challenging conditions of confinement on death row, prolonged solitary confinement, treatment of youth sentenced as adult and of prisoners with serious mental illness, HIV-based discrimination, and failure to protect prisoners from rape and violence. She has testified as an expert before the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission; the National Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons; the Citizens’ Commission on Violence in the Los Angeles County Jails; and the California Senate and Assembly Public Safety Committees’ Joint Hearing on Segregation Policies in California’s Prisons. Her cases have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and other national media.  She was a finalist for the Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award for 2013. She has served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, teaching courses on prisoners’ rights litigation and policy.

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"A Picture of Such Horror as Should Be Unrealized Anywhere in the Civilized World"

"A Picture of Such Horror as Should Be Unrealized Anywhere in the Civilized World"

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 1:27pm

A federal court judge has put a stop to the state of Mississippi's practice of putting kids convicted as adults in solitary confinement.

Rethinking Solitary Confinement in Mississippi and Beyond

Rethinking Solitary Confinement in Mississippi and Beyond

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 11:12am

A Sunday New York Times article gives a critical and searching look at solitary confinement and a new model for prison reform in Mississippi.

Groundbreaking Decree in Mississippi Bans Solitary Confinement of Kids Convicted as Adults

Groundbreaking Decree in Mississippi Bans Solitary Confinement of Kids Convicted as Adults

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 12:23pm

The decree will also require the state to move such kids out of a brutally violent private prison and into a facility operated in accordance with juvenile justice standards.

L.A. County Jail Still Plagued by Deputies Who Abuse and Retaliate Against Inmates

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Peter J. Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California at 4:19pm

The ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU National Prison Project today released a disturbing new report on the Los Angeles County Jail that documents numerous, serious allegations of physical abuse and retaliation at the hands of sheriff’s…

Don't Let the Military's Deadly "Pain Ray" Machine Invade the L.A. County Jail

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Peter J. Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California at 2:50pm

Los Angeles County Jail has just installed an Assault Intervention Device — an invisible microwave-beam weapon originally developed by the military — as a way to subdue inmates by focusing a microwave beam on them to make them feel "intolerable…

Corruption and Abuse By LA County Deputies Contribute To Suicide, Report Confirms

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 4:06pm

John Horton was held in solitary confinement in the Los Angeles County Men‘s Central Jail following his arrest for drug possession. He committed suicide.

In the days leading up to his death in March 2009, jail staff noted that Mr. Horton…

Prison Rape Victims Deserve Ways to Seek Justice And Accountability

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 2:17pm

(Originally posted at Daily Kos.)

Tuesday's release of the bipartisan National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC) report called vividly to mind dozens of horrendous prison rape cases the ACLU has investigated that were immunized from…

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