Supreme Court OKs lawsuit by disabled Maryland inmates

June 23, 1998|By SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court cleared the way yesterday for 13 disabled inmates to sue the state of Maryland over their claims that the state does not do enough to ensure that its prisons accommodate their needs.

In a one-sentence order, the justices overturned a September ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond that federal law did not protect the inmates from discrimination based on their disabilities. Yesterday's order followed a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court last week that extended federal disability rights law to state and local prisons and jails.

The 13 inmates involved in the Maryland case are at Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown. They claim disabled inmates there are denied equal access and rights to apply for prison jobs.

Pub Date: 6/23/98

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