Day 18: Update from Sheridan

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Day 18: Update from Sheridan

Photo: Victoria Bejarano Muirhead (Innovation Law Lab), Keith Ketterling (Stolll Berne), Nadia Dahab (Stoll Berne), Leland Baxter-Neal (ACLU of Oregon), Chris Nicholson (Innovation Law Lab), Ethan Chua (Innovation Law Lab)

Today marks 18 days since the court granted the Innovation Law Lab access to provide legal counsel to the immigrants detained at the federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon.

“It is a core principle of the United States that no person in this country should be imprisoned without due process of law,” noted Stephen Manning, Executive Director of the Innovation Law Lab, “The court order has been crucial to identifying and remedying issues related to legal access.”

Every day, from June 26 onward, the Innovation Law Lab has had a legal presence at the Sheridan facility. In a status conference today, we had the opportunity to provide an update on the work that has occurred since:

  • 113 individuals received Know Your Rights presentations (we did not meet with individuals who at the time of initial access indicated they had private counsel)
  • 16 individuals have so far indicated they have private counsel or have declined counsel
  • 85 individuals have received one-on-one screening interviews
  • 40 individuals have received follow up consultations
  • 44 formal appearances of counsel have been filed, with more to be submitted over the weekend

Additionally, the Bureau of Prisons has agreed to modify their process for passing legal documents to inmates to more closely align with ICE detention standards. Starting Monday, July 16, attorneys and legal assistants will be able to pass legal documents in a #10 envelope to clients during legal visits.

Typical BOP policy would require documents to go through a drop box for review, significantly impeding a client’s ability to prepare for an interview or complete legal documents on his own.

The small adjustment will have a significant impact on our ability to serve our clients as they prepare for credible fear interviews, which are due to start next week.

Please direct any inquiries to Victoria Bejarano Muirhead at victoria@innovationlawlab.org.

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