Member Moves

NC NAACP v. Cooper Settlement Helps the Incarcerated

March 18, 2021

Several NCAJ members contributed to the plaintiffs’ efforts to reach a settlement in NC NAACP v. Cooper, a resolution announced last week that will lead to the early release of at least 3,500 people in state custody. That would be among the largest prison releases in the country achieved via COVID-19 litigation efforts, according to the NAACP of NC.

NCAJ members Leah Kang of the ACLU of NC, Lisa Grafstein of Disability Rights NC, and Whitley Carpenter and Aviance Brown of Forward Justice, worked on teams representing the plaintiffs. As part of the settlement, the state also agreed that the Department of Public Services will continue and enhance its efforts to protect prisoners from COVID-19. Read the ACLU of NC’s press release here and the NC DPS statement here. Kang, staff attorney at the ACLU of North Carolina, documents the success of the settlement in a post here. “For people incarcerated in North Carolina’s state prisons, who are disproportionately people of color and people with disabilities, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a particular kind of nightmare,” Kang writes. Read Kang’s post here.