Prison Health Initiative: 2015-present

Professor Bernard E. Harcourt teaches his first-year Legal Methods students the ethics and practice of law through an ongoing case arising out of his death penalty litigation. After reading a letter from one of his clients describing the denial of Hepatitis C medication to many in the prison, himself included, a group of his past and present students were galvanized to action.

Their research revealed troubling shifts in pricing of standard pharmaceuticals Hepatitis C as well the blatantly unconstitutional but generally accepted unconstitutional health conditions of prisoners, who are ironically the only American residents with a constitutional right to health care.

The students eventually found ongoing litigation--Dunn et. al. v. Thomas--suing the entire Alabama Department of Corrections for failing to provide constitutionally adequate health care to persons in its custody. They are now in the process of adding the Professor's client to this sweeping class action that could significantly improve the lived experience of state prisoners in Alabama. The students have offered to assist the lawyers in that case and will be providing pro bono research in support of the litigation.