In response to intensifying COVID-19 outbreaks at the federal prison complex in Butner, North Carolina, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and Winston & Strawn filed a class-action lawsuit against administrators at Butner Federal Correctional Complex.

The lawsuit is asking for the rights of people incarcerated to be protected and conditions be made safe for those who remain in custody amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Corrections institutions have continuously failed to take even the most basic life-saving measures to protect incarcerated people from COVID-19 — nowhere is this truer than Butner, which has been the deadliest of all federal facilities during this pandemic.

Prisons and jails are the sites of the biggest hotspots for COVID-19 everywhere in the country.

The new lawsuit comes after a U.S. district court judge denied a preliminary injunction in a previous case in May. The ACLU of North Carolina has an ongoing lawsuit in state court to release and protect people currently incarcerated in state prisons. 


ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, Washington Lawyer's for Civil and Urban Affairs

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Winston & Straun

Date filed

October 25, 2020


U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina