A class-action suit alleging the Wyoming Department of Corrections violated a woman’s constitutional rights faced an unexpected hurdle this week. A federal judge ruled the plaintiff cannot represent all women in similar situations, so the case cannot now move forward as a class-action lawsuit.
When Taylor Blanchard was convicted of drug charges, she was a first-time offender and under the age of 25, making her eligible for boot camp. Instead, she’s serving a six to ten year term at the Women’s Center in Lusk, because there is no women’s boot camp in the state.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Wyoming Department Corrections on these grounds.
ACLU Attorney Stephen Pevar said since the judge ruled that Blanchard could not represent other women, his legal team is seeking other women at Lusk who may be eligible for boot camp.
“Once we get those names, and we don’t know if there’s one of fifty,” said Pevar. “But once we get those names, we can then contact those women and ask them if they would like to join our case.”
Pevar said they have 6 months to add additional names to the suit.