In August, the state of Michigan agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of female officers at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility through a proposed payout of about $750,000 to approximately 700 women who have worked at the facility since 2009.U.S. v. State of Michigan, No. 2:16-cv-12146 (E.D. Mich. June 13, 2016). For the settlement, see Paul Egan, “State of Michigan to Pay $750K to Settle Women’s Prison Federal Lawsuit,” Detroit Free Press, August 31, 2018.
The federal lawsuit, filed in 2016, alleged that the Michigan Department of Corrections discriminated against female officers by forcing them to work excessive overtime at Michigan’s only women’s prison.Egan, “State of Michigan to Pay $750K,” 2018.
Under the draft settlement, the state would also lift a freeze barring female officers at Huron Valley from transferring to other prisons.Egan, “State of Michigan to Pay $750K,” 2018.
In another case related to the same facility, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy rejected class action status for a series of lawsuits brought by incarcerated people challenging the conditions of their detention.“No Class-Action Lawsuit over Conditions at Women's Prison” U.S. News & World Report, October 1, 2018. The judge found that that the claims—including complaints about cramped cells, lack of temperature control and ventilation, long waiting lists for educational programs, exposure to inclement weather conditions, and inadequate clothing and medical treatment—were too varied to be combined.Paul Egan, “Inmate at Mich. Women’s Prison Can Sue over ‘Sexual Predator’ Cellmate,” Detroit Free Press, October 1, 2018.