Attacks in Apparent Violation of Federal Law

East St. Louis, IL, March 19 – A suit filed in federal court here today alleges that last year an Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) guard unit known as “Orange Crush” rounded up and physically abused hundreds of prisoners in “shakedowns” over periods of several days at four Illinois prisons – Illinois River Correctional Center (CC), Menard CC, Big Muddy River CC, and Lawrence CC.

The suit alleges human rights violations, including violation of the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (42 U.S.C. § 15607).

The class action, brought by a prisoner at Illinois River, names at least 232 Orange Crush officers who “beat, sexually humiliated, and otherwise abused [hundreds of prisoners],” and “gratuitously inflicted punishment for the sole purpose of causing humiliation and needless pain.”

Chanting “punish the inmate,” the Orange Crush team conducted “a humiliating strip search in front of female officers” and ordered prisoners to march in line “so that one man’s genitals were in direct contact with the next man’s buttocks (referred to by the Orange Crush team as ‘Nuts to Butts’),” physically attacked prisoners who refused to comply, and gave “orders to stand in a stress position for several hours.”

The plaintiff is represented by Loevy & Loevy Attorney at Law, the largest civil rights firm in the Midwest, and Uptown People’s Law Center, a nonprofit national leader in prisoners’ rights litigation, both of which have been appointed by federal courts as class counsel in similar prison litigation. In one such case, Young v. County of Cook, Loevy & Loevy obtained a payment of $55 million for the class because of abusive strip searches.  A copy of the suit can be found here: Demetrius Ross v. Gossett, et al., 3:15-cv-00309

Uptown People’s Law Center is a nonprofit legal services organization specializing in prisoners’ rights, Social Security disability, and tenants’ rights and eviction defense. Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country over the past decade.

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