Oakland County, Michigan: COVID-19 & Jails

People detained in the Oakland County Jail, near Detroit, lack consistent access to soap, sanitizer, and are unable to practice social distancing. 

Along with partners at the ACLU of Michigan, Advancement Project National Office, LaRene & Kriger P.L.C., and the Law Firm of Pitt, McGhee, Palmer and Rivers, we filed an emergency lawsuit to protect people detained in the Oakland County Jail in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.The lawsuit argues that Oakland County officials are violating the constitutional rights of people in the jail by exposing them to an unnecessary risk of infection, illness or death during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit asks the court to order Oakland County officials to immediately adopt comprehensive measures to protect the safety and health of people in jail.The lawsuit also asks the court to order the immediate release of medically vulnerable people inside the Oakland County Jail. 

On April 21, a federal judge rdered Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard to take steps to protect inmates housed at the jail from the novel Coronavirus.