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Disability Rights Legal Center Newsletter
Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, March 30, 2012

In This Issue
DRLC Petitions U.N. to Investigate CA's Unjust Isolation of Prisoners
DRLC Takes a Ride on the Justice Bus
Meet the DRLC at This Year's Abilities Expo L.A.
Spring Forward Chicago
Register for CLRC's 2012 Cancer Rights Conferences
How to Help

DRLC Petitions U.N. to Investigate
CA's Unjust Isolation of Prisoners


Pelican Bay Prison Security Housing Unit Cell
The petitioning prisoners are all currently being housed in isolated segregation in California prisons, for the most part in Secure Housing Units (SHUs). This photo shows a cell in Pelican Bay State Prison's SHU. In 2011, Pelican Bay inmates went on a hunger strike to protest conditions in that prison.

On March 20, civil rights advocates, including the Disability Rights Legal Center, submitted a petition to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The advocates filed the petition on behalf of 4,000 California prisoners who are being detained in isolated, segregated units for indefinite periods of time, or for many years, solely because they have been identified as members of gangs or found to have associated with a gang. "They are effectively locked in a concrete small space that becomes a 'living coffin' in which many have been confined for many years, even decades," the petition states. The petition alleges that unjustly penalizing inmates in this fashion constitutes cruel and degrading treatment in violation of California's obligations under international law, because such isolation is harmful to prisoners' mental and physical health. The petitioners ask the United Nations to assume competency over the petition, inspect the prisons and interview the prisoners, and call upon the government of the United States to ensure that California terminates this illegal practice. Click here to read the Petition. Read the Los Angeles Times article "U.N. asked to investigate solitary confinement as torture."

DRLC Takes a Ride on the Justice Bus®

 OneJustice Banner

From March 16-17, DRLC staff rode on the Justice Bus® to the rural areas of the Inland Empire in order to provide legal assistance to underserved communities and to share our programs and services. Heather McGunigle, Director of the Inland Empire Program, was onboard. She gave presentations on special education law and provided legal consultation to individuals with disabilities at the Victorville Law Library and Barstow Senior Citizens Center. The other DRLC staff members who participated were Kunti Dudakia, Kirkland & Ellis Justice Fellow, Community Advocacy Program and Boanerges Rodriguez, Community Advocacy Program Administrative Assistant. Justice Bus® is a service of OneJustice, whose mission is to increase access to legal help for underserved Californians by building infrastructure and partnerships in the legal community. These events were coordinated by Ms. McGunigle, and Cynthia Luna at OneJustice.

Save the Date    

Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 1 

Meet the DRLC at This Year's Abilities Expo Los Angeles  

 Abilities Expo logo     

The Disability Rights Legal Center is participating in this year's Abilities Expo in Los Angeles. Come find us in booth #921 and learn about our programs and services. Abilities Expo is the trusted source where people with disabilities, their families, seniors, vets, caregivers and healthcare professionals gain knowledge and empowerment (and have a little fun!). For more than 30 years, Abilities Expo has also provided an excellent forum for companies with disability products and services to reach out and enhance the lives of this Community.

Dates and Times of Abilities Expo L.A. are as follows:
Friday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Sunday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Expo is free and open to the public, but you must register either in advance or at the event. For information and early registration,
visit http://www.abilitiesexpo.com/losangeles/index.html

Tuesday, April 17

Spring Forward Chicago  

  Spring Forward Chicago Flyer

Join us on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, for "Spring Forward Chicago" to celebrate the Cancer Legal Resource Center's work helping people coping with cancer in the Midwest. Tickets are $35 and include 2-hour beer and wine open bar, light appetizers and one raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for $2. The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Barn & Company-Public Room & Smoke House, 950 West Wrightwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60614. All proceeds benefit the Cancer Legal Resource Center, a joint program of the DRLC and Loyola Law School Los Angeles. To purchase tickets or for more information call 773-750-3063, email Sarah.Aguirre@lls.edu, or visit www.CancerLegalResourceCenter.org .

2012 CLRC Cancer Rights Conference Logo  

Register for CLRC's 2012 Cancer Rights Conferences  


Registration is now open for Cancer Legal Resource Center's 2012 Cancer Rights Conferences! The CLRC will be hosting conferences in Boston, MA, on May 29; Chicago, IL, on September 7; Central Valley, CA, on October 5; and Houston, TX on October 19. Each of these conferences will bring together cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, attorneys, health care professionals, and other members of the cancer community to learn about subjects including health insurance, health care reform, employment, and taking time off work and disability insurance.  To register, please visit http:cancerrightsconference.org. For more information about becoming a sponsor or partner of the CLRC's National Cancer Rights Conferences, click here. 

How to Help   

Shop at Ralphs and Defend Rights of People with Disabilities  
Ralph's Community Contributions Program logo

Thank you so much for championing the rights of people with disabilities by supporting the DRLC through Ralphs Community Contribution Program. The DRLC uses every dollar donated from this program to serve people with disabilities. Please visit www.ralphs.com  to both re-register and to register.

Champion the Rights of People with Disabilities by Shopping, Searching Online  


Support Disability Rights Legal Center simply by shopping and searching online. Become an iGive member and select DRLC as one of your causes, then go shopping by clicking on an iGive link to one of the hundreds of participating retailers, including Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, DisneyStore.com, eBay, Expedia.com, Macy's, NORDSTROM.com, ProFlowers, Sport Chalet, Travelocity. Causes always receive 100% of the donation amount advertised on iGive's website. You can also contribute simply by using iGive's search engine. 


The online credit card donation feature is available on the Make a Donation page of the DRLC website. This quick and easy function can be used for general donations.   



Visit the How You Can Help page of our website to volunteer as a pro bono attorney on a disability rights case, work as a student law clerk or assist with intake and administrative responsibilities.


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DRLC Group Photo 2011
Disability Rights Legal Center Staff October 2011