FJI is excited and honored to share that we were awarded the Paul H. Chapman Award from The Foundation for Improvement of Justice. The Award recognizes significant accomplishments that improve the justice system and can serve as an effective model for others. The Award includes the Paul H. Chapman Gold Medal, a check for $10,000, a commendation bar pin, and a certificate of appreciation. Due to COVID-19, the banquet was held virtually this year.
FJI was recognized for our successful litigation to obtain Hepatitis C treatment for more than 8,000 incarcerated people. After extensive investigation, FJI found that the Florida Department of Corrections, which housed nearly 100,000 prisoners, had provided treatment to almost none of those incarcerated and had no plan in place to test, evaluate or treat those with Hepatitis C. In May of 2017, FJI filed a class action lawsuit asking for immediate treatment for the sickest inmates and for the corrections department to develop and implement a plan to test, evaluate, monitor, and treat Hepatitis C. Five month later, after a preliminary injunction was requested and an evidentiary hearing conducted, the Court granted their request. This order was the first of its kind in the country. After additional discoveries, a second request of the Court was made and in May of 2019 was granted. To date over 8,000 prisoners have been treated for Hepatitis C, around 150,000 have been tested and tens of thousands more are being monitored and staged for treatment.
Here is a photo of this year’s virtual event: