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 Sheriff with his Head in the Sand

A Sheriff with his Head in the Sand

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Peter J. Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California at 9:30am

Gang-like cliques of sheriff's deputies operating with impunity inside L.A. County jails. Department top brass encouraging a culture of violence and brutality against inmates. And a sheriff with his head in the sand.

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…

VICTORY! Henderson et al. v. Thomas et al.

VICTORY! Henderson et al. v. Thomas et al.

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 3:01pm

Today a federal judge in Montgomery, Alabama entered a historic decision in the quarter-century-old fight for equality for prisoners living with HIV.   It’s the culmination of a month-long trial in a class-action lawsuit by the ACLU that…

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…

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…

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.

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