Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

IDOC sued on behalf of Black & Pink for censoring free speech of LGBTQ prisoners
2018-10-18

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Chicago, IL ( October 18, 2018 ) — Today, attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Chicago chapter of Black & Pink, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide LGBTQ people in prison with allies on the outside. For over two years, Illinois Department of Corrections ( IDOC ) has censored communication between this organization and LGBTQ prisoners in Illinois.

Attorneys from Uptown People's Law Center ( UPLC ) and the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center filed the lawsuit, which alleges that IDOC has violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution by censoring Black & Pink mailings to individuals in at least eleven prisons. The lawsuit also alleges that IDOC has violated the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause ( by failing to provide adequate notice or opportunity to challenge this persistent censorship ), as well as the amendment's equal protection clause.

UPLC and the MacArthur Justice Center allege that the censored mail does not pose a threat to security or safety in the prison, but that IDOC is intentionally discriminating against Black & Pink based on the LGBTQ identities of its members and subscribers, and the organization's position and promotion of criminal justice reform.

Black & Pink primarily operates through mailings, specifically a monthly newsletter, zines, chapter updates documenting ongoing projects, and birthday and holiday cards, which it sends to its over 900 subscribers in Illinois prisons. Mailings often contain information on prisoners' rights and criminal justice reform, particularly information which impacts LGBTQ individuals in particular.

Between September 2016 and April 2018, IDOC improperly censored materials from Black & Pink on at least 202 occasions. The censored mail has included introductory letters and information about Black & Pink's pen pal program. Even holiday cards have been banned; a holiday card with a chapter update was rejected at Western Illinois prison and Danville prison, both of which informed prisoners: "We are discouraging communication between our prisoners and the Pink & Black [sic] organization, so we cannot allow the receiving of more propaganda."

"Prisoners are extraordinarily isolated. Publications give them a lifeline to the outside world. Almost all prisoners will one day be released, and it does no good to isolate them while they're inside. Having ties to the outside while in prison is one of the best predictors that someone will not return to prison," said Alan Mills, Executive Director of Uptown People's Law Center.

"LGBTQ people in IDOC custody regularly report that they spend each day enduring constant abuse and harassment because of who they are," said Sheila Bedi, attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center. "Not only do IDOC officials often participate in this abuse, they also censor Black and Pink's correspondence — the one supportive resource available for LGBTQ people living behind bars. IDOC denies LGBTQ people in its custody from receiving greeting cards and information about their legal rights merely because they are LGBTQ. This type of discrimination is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution and results in depriving LGBTQ people of a vital lifeline," Bedi said. "This lawsuit is not just about censorship — it's also about one of the ways IDOC unlawfully discriminates against LGBTQ people."

—From an Uptown People's Law Center press release

Uptown People's Law Center is a nonprofit legal services organization specializing in prisoners' rights, Social Security disability, and tenants' rights and eviction defense. UPLC currently has seven class action lawsuits regarding jail and prison conditions.

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center was founded in 1985 and is one of the premier civil rights law firms in the United States, with offices in Chicago; St. Louis; New Orleans; Oxford, MS and Washington, D.C.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Dorothy Brown not running for re-election 2019-08-14 - Longtime Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown has announced that she will not be running for re-election next year, The Chicago Tribune ...


Gay News

Proposed rule change would reduce ACA nondiscrimination protections 2019-08-14 - ( Washington, D.C., August 14, 2019 ) — Yesterday, Lambda Legal submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services objecting ...


Gay News

NCAVP Reports on Anti-LGBTQ Violence During Pride Season 2019-08-14 - August 14, New York, NY- A special report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ), Pride and Pain: A Snapshot ...


Gay News

WORLD Beijing couple, Dutch man attacked, Ecuador murder 2019-08-13 - A same-sex couple in Beijing have become the first in the city to complete the process of being named as each other's legal ...


Gay News

Women & Children First to host Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor 2019-08-13 - Women & Children First is honored to present U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a moderated conversation and audience Q&A followed by ...


Gay News

Gay Chicago resident alleges discrimination by city employee 2019-08-11 - During the morning hours of April 25, Andersonville resident Leo Meere allegedly heard anti-LGBTQ comments from a Chicago Department of Water Management ( ...


Gay News

Trans ex-student prevails in restroom case 2019-08-11 - In Virginia, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled Aug. 9 that a school board's transgender bathroom ban discriminated against former student Gavin ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzer signs pro-LGBTQ measures 2019-08-10 - On Aug. 9, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a number of measures—including at least three that are seen as specifically benefiting LGBTQ individuals. ...


Gay News

Illinois Legislation to Advance Equity for LGBTQ Older Adults Approved by Gov. Pritzker 2019-08-09 - SPRINGFIELD, IL — Under a law signed today by Gov. JB Pritzker, Illinois is the first state to designate older adults living with ...


Gay News

Governor signs bill aimed at 'changing culture' in workplace 2019-08-09 - SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed into law a measure aimed at preventing workplace sexual harassment and protecting victims who come ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.