Civil Rights

"After I went into the juvenile facility, I became hopeless, knowing that I would have to live in those conditions for years. There was no one to turn to, and I lost inspiration and motivation. But after Mountain State Justice began to stick up for me, they gave me the sense that my concerns were legit. With Mountain State Justice behind me, I was full of life and hope, and because of Mountain State Justice, I am excited that others will not have to go through what I did." — Dennis Lanham, Charleston, West Virginia
We fight for civil rights of West Virginians. We seek to ensure that individuals who have been committed to institutions are treated fairly and humanely.

We are actively engaged in litigation regarding the conditions of confinement at both adult and juvenile correctional facilities.

To protect the rights of incarcerated children, we sued the Division of Juvenile Services on behalf of two youth incarcerated at the Industrial Home for Youth in Salem, West Virginia.  This lawsuit, State of West Virginia ex. rel. D.L. and K.P. v. Humphries, Case No. 12-MISC-312, resulted in tremendous reforms at all of the Division of Juvenile Services facilities, including the closure of the Industrial Home and the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Facility.  The lawsuit has brought about an end to the inhumane and abusive practice of isolating juveniles in segregation cells for extended periods of time.

We also seek to protect the rights of those committed to mental institutions, by ensuring that they receive appropriate treatment and return to the community as quickly and safely as possible.  Through E.H. v. Matin, we have dramatically increased the provision of community-based services and ensured proper staffing and care at state facilities.

If you or someone you love has had their civil rights violated while in jail, prison, or juvenile custody, please call 304.326.0188; for all other civil rights matters, please call 304.344.3144 to see if you qualify for our services.