DRO applauds successful termination of lawsuit challenging Franklin County jail's use of Tasers

December 30, 2015 / jail

After five and a half years of legal advocacy by Disability Rights Ohio on behalf of inmates who had been victims of inappropriate use of Tasers, the case of Shreve v Franklin County has reached a successful resolution. On Monday, December 28, 2015, the United States District Court granted a joint request submitted by Disability Rights Ohio, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and Franklin County to end the case.

Since achieving a court approved settlement in 2011, Disability Rights Ohio and the DOJ have monitored Franklin County’s compliance with the settlement agreement by reviewing Taser use policies, incidents of Taser use, and training of staff at the Franklin County Correction Centers. A host of improvements were reported, including a drop in Taser usage from about 70 incidents per year to about 5 incidents per year.

Disability Rights Ohio filed the case in July 2010 because a large number of inmates with physical and mental disabilities were tased excessively by jail staff. The DOJ intervened in November 2010 to address the pattern of excessive force.

“I am proud of our efforts in representing the rights of our clients to be free from abuse and neglect across all settings,” said Michael Kirkman, executive director of Disability Rights Ohio. “And I am pleased with the successful resolution of this case achieved through the collaborative efforts of all parties to comply with the settlement agreement.”

While the successful resolution of the case ends the case-specific monitoring of the Franklin County Correction Centers, Disability Rights Ohio staff will continue to routinely conduct monitoring visits and investigate incidents of abuse and neglect.

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