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COVID-19 Tag

COVID-19: Lawsuit Fights for Immediate Access to Vaccine for Those in DOC custody

April 2, 2021 – Lawsuit filed by incarcerated individuals also demands that DOC provide accurate information about the COVID vaccine and to protect those incarcerated from staff who refuse to take the vaccine.

Petitioners Candis Rush, Justin Autrey, and Gregory Steen filed a lawsuit against the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), citing abysmal conditions for those in DOC custody and the department’s refusal to provide vaccines. The lawsuit demands that the Department of Health (DOH) and DOC take action immediately and provide vaccine access for those incarcerated.

In their press release, Columbia Legal Services (CLS) writes that merely allocating doses is not a sufficient solution. Other problems such as increased distrust between staff and residents due to DOC prioritizing vaccines for staff as well as preventing those incarcerated from receiving any information or news about the vaccine are all contributing to the increased risk.  “It is imperative that the DOH, and DOC partner not only with each other, but also engage with authentic, respected voices in the community to help spread accurate information and build trust around the vaccine and DOC’s ability to properly administer it,” said Tony Gonzalez, the CLS attorney who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

To learn more about the lawsuit and CLS’s advocacy efforts, please read the CLS press release.

COVID-19: Statewide restrictions announced on November 15

In compliance with the Governor’s November 15, 2020 proclamation, the Washington Appellate Project will be closed to the public until restrictions are lifted. Echoing our response to the original Stay Home proclamation from March, attorneys and staff will continue to primarily work remotely. A limited number of personnel will be present in the office; administrative staff will be in office on Mondays and Wednesdays to answer calls and process mailings. The best way to contact our office is by calling on these days, sending a letter, or filling out our contact form.

We remain committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and community while continuing to meet our obligations to our clients.

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