Resource: Remick v. City of Philadelphia

By: Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project

Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project

In April 2020, ten people incarcerated in facilities in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) filed a federal civil rights class-action lawsuit against the city and the department over the conditions of the city’s jails. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of all people who are currently incarcerated in the City of Philadelphia jails. It seeks to protect them from jail conditions that would increase the likelihood that they will contract the novel coronavirus and become severely sick from COVID-19. People who are incarcerated and detained are entitled to safe and humane conditions, including protection from COVID-19, based on the Eighth Amendment’s right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, the Fourteenth Amendment’s right to due process, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The scope of the lawsuit has since expanded to address a range of dire jail conditions, including insufficient out-of-cell time, delays in the provision of medical care, excessive force by corrections officers, violence among incarcerated people, and insufficient access to legal counsel and the courts. The lawsuit, Remick et al. v. City of Philadelphia, 20-cv-1959, was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs are represented by the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project; Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin LLP; Abolitionist Law Center, and Dechert LLP.