Judge grants class action status in youth prison lawsuit
A federal judge has given class action status to juvenile inmates in a lawsuit over conditions and practices at the youth prison complex in northern Wisconsin.
U.S. District Judge James Peterson issued the decision Friday following previous rulings that found the civil rights of the youth offenders were likely being violated and that changes needed to be made in how Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls operate.
The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the Juvenile Law Center. Peterson's decision means the plaintiffs' attorneys will represent all present and future inmates at the prison campus near Irma.
Peterson's earlier orders including one that required the prisons to curb their use of solitary confinement, pepper spray and handcuffs.