Daily Briefs

ABA webinar explores COVID-19 issues affecting prisoners at serious health risk

The American Bar Association will conduct a free webinar, “COVID-19 and the Compassionate Release of the Elderly, Infirm or High Risk,” on Friday, April 3 from 3-5 p.m. EDT.

Topics include the litigation and administrative efforts to secure the compassionate release of elderly and infirm prisoners in response to COVID-19.

Speakers include:

• Welcome remarks by ABA President Judy Perry Martinez, who is also of counsel with Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans, La.

• Michael W. Bien, partner, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP

• Margaret Egan, executive director, New York Board of Corrections

• Merf Ehman, executive director, Columbia Legal Services

• Mary Price, general counsel, FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums)

• Miriam Gohara, clinical associate professor, Yale Law School; special advisor, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (moderator)

The webinar is sponsored by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and the  ABA Criminal Justice Section.


Whitmer: Michigan schools closed for academic year

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 1.5 million Michigan students will not return to K-12 school buildings the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead will learn remotely, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Thursday.

All public and private schools are more than halfway through a four-week shutdown ordered by Whitmer to combat the outbreak.

She said face-to-face instruction will not resume this spring. Districts will create distance learning programs, with flexibility on how they do so — whether is online or with printed materials sent to homes or some other option.

Seniors will graduate and other children will advance to the next grade, as long as they were on track to do so before the closure.

The Democratic governor said it was a “difficult decision,” but her No. 1 priority is protecting against the spread of COVID-19.

“As a parent, I understand the challenge closing schools creates for parents and guardians across the state, which is why we are setting guidelines for schools to continue remote learning and ensuring parents have resources to continue their children’s education from the safety of their homes,” Whitmer said in statement issued before a scheduled press conference.

Traditional districts and charter schools will get their full state funding, because the state will forgive instruction time requirements and a waive a 75% attendance rule.

Students will not be penalized if they are unable to participate in an alternate learning plan.

— David Eggert


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