York County Prison Lawsuit Moves Closer to Trial as Human Rights Abuses Allegations Escalate

York County, Pennsylvania – A long-standing lawsuit against York County, its prison, and its former training contractor for alleged human rights violations may finally go to trial later this year. The case, brought by inmates who claim various human rights abuses, is scheduled to be heard by federal district Judge Jennifer Wilson on October 7. This comes nearly three years after York County entered into its second contract with Corrections Special Applications Unit (C-SAU), a controversial trainer. The lawsuit alleges that the county’s actions have violated the rights of the inmates.

According to court records, the decision to schedule the trial comes after a recent status conference with the Court. Matthew Clayberger, who represents the county in the lawsuit, declined to comment further at this time. Alan Denenberg and Leticia Chavez-Freed, who are representing several inmates, have stated that they plan to file additional litigation involving the prison in the near future.

The lawsuit was initiated in December 2021, shortly after York County approved a contract with C-SAU for “confidential training.” The contract, worth $252,770, raised concerns due to the controversial reputation of C-SAU and its conduct. Previous attempts to include more inmates in the lawsuit have been unsuccessful.

Furthermore, the county later agreed to end the contract with C-SAU ahead of schedule and paid an additional $43,500 to the training contractor. It is worth noting that C-SAU may no longer exist, as it dissolved in October 2023, according to information from the South Carolina Secretary of State’s business filing search.

York County Prison has faced multiple legal challenges in recent years. In 2018, former inmate Everett Palmer Jr. died after being restrained, leading to a settlement between the county, Palmer’s family, and PrimeCare Medical, the county’s medical provider. The county agreed to pay $1 million to Palmer’s mother, while PrimeCare Medical had to pay $500,000.

The upcoming trial will shed light on the alleged human rights abuses within York County’s prison system. It is expected to be a significant moment for both the inmates and the county, as questions of accountability and the use of controversial training methods are addressed. The trial will likely have far-reaching implications for the treatment of inmates and the responsibilities of prison systems across the country.