Fourteenth Amendment

VICTORY V BERKS COUNTY: Order and Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law. Berks County must not treat the lowest risk Trusty inmates differently "based on their chromosomes"

January 15, 2019

Federal Judge Kearney ruled in favor of our client Theresa A. Victory stating that Berks County must allow her the same freedom of movement and opportunities provided to her male counterparts at the Berks County Community Reentry Center by Friday, January 18, 2019. These include 13 hours outside her cell when she is at the prison, no lock on her cell during, the evening and direct access to the rehabilitative programs she wishes to attend in the re-entry center.

Judge Kearney stated that “We find Berks County does not adequately justify its reasons for this substantially different treatment of lowest risk Trusty inmates working in our community on work release based on their chromosomes.” and “After too long, Berks County must act now to mitigate further harm to Ms. Victory and ensure her equal protection under the Law, without retaliating against her . . . because Berks County now needs to treat men and women Trusty inmates in the same manner.”

The Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project is representing Ms. Victory in this class action lawsuit filed on behalf of fifteen female work release and Trusty inmates.

ORDER

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

Berks County Prison inmate lawsuit alleges gender discrimination. Theresa A. Victory claims that women on work release are treated differently than males in the same program.

December 11, 2018 | Karen Shuey | Reading Eagle

A female inmate at Berks County Prison has filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Berks County, alleging men on work release status are granted significantly greater freedom, privileges and opportunities.

In the lawsuit filed in U.S. Eastern District Court in Philadelphia on Friday, Theresa A. Victory alleges women on work release are unfairly confined to their prison cells while their male counterparts on work release status are housed in the adjacent Berks County Community Reentry Center. She alleges the only factor creating this unequal treatment is an inmate's gender. And despite the disparities, both men and women pay $200 each month from their wages.

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