A Coalition Against Violence
Sidley drafted an amicus brief on behalf of nonprofit Fair and Just Prosecution. The case centers on the terrible conditions at two Virginia juvenile halls, where immigrant teens were subjected to isolation, violence by staff and excessive use of a restraint chair. A federal judge had found there were grounds to allow a trial over claims of excessive force, but ruled against the claim for better mental health care. The team’s brief argued that the district court erred in ruling out a trauma-informed approach, which is constitutionally required when addressing the proper standard of mental health care to provide detained immigrant children. In total, 57 current and former district and state’s attorneys, state attorneys general, corrections leaders, United States attorneys and Department of Justice officials representing 30 states and Washington, D.C. signed our brief. The brief adds a valuable perspective for the Fourth Circuit to consider as it hears arguments on appeal.
“It’s not often that an amicus brief gets a lot of independent attention. If you had any doubts about the importance of your effort – and its potential impact both inside and outside of the courtroom – you shouldn’t anymore. Thank you for your powerful contribution.”
– Hannah E.M. Lieberman, Legal Director, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs