North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services

North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services (NCPLS) is a nonprofit law firm that has worked since 1979 to attorneys have litigated a broad range of conditions-of-confinement claims and challenged unlawful convictions and sentences.

Since 1965, the ACLU of North Carolina has worked in the courts, the General Assembly, and communities throughout the state to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all North Carolinians. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 30,000 members and supporters across the state, the ACLU of North Carolina is a state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union.

THE CASE: NCPLS and the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation have filed a class action lawsuit in state court alleging that North Carolina’s use of solitary confinement inflicts “cruel or unusual punishments” prohibited by the state Constitution. Every day, state prison officials subject over 3,000 people to this practice, hundreds of whom have significant mental illness. These people spend 22-24 hours a day in extreme isolation, often for months and years at a time, with little or no meaningful human contact or environmental stimulation. A strong consensus has emerged among researchers, courts, and public officials—including prison officials in North Carolina—that this practice creates substantial risks of psychological and physiological injury. The practice is also expensive, undermines public safety, and provides no rehabilitative benefits.

Grantee contact information: Dan Siegel, dsiegel@ncpls.org, 919-856-2200; Mike Meno, mmeno@acluofnc.org, 919-834-3466