People of AC - Miranda Tait

Miranda is an attorney at the Advocacy Center of Louisiana, working out of our Lafayette office.

We asked Miranda to tell us a little about the work she's currently doing at AC.

I am a senior attorney in the Rights Advocacy group. I joined AC twelve years ago, doing abuse and neglect investigations in institutions throughout Louisiana. I am currently involved in class-action litigation for Constitutionally adequate healthcare at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (LSP) at Angola. The lack of adequate healthcare at LSP is staggering, and is part of the much larger societal problems of mass incarceration and an aging prison population. As bad as access to healthcare is for the average inmate, it is that much worse for inmates with disabilities who need more specialized care, and who suffer more serious repercussions from even small failures in the prison healthcare system. Our lawsuit recognizes the disproportionate impact of poor delivery of healthcare for inmates of LSP.

Our prison work over the last six years has demonstrated the common ground between disability rights advocacy and prison rights advocacy, and has exposed the intersectional nature of oppression -- systemic injustice and social inequality can occur on a multi-dimensional basis. Multiple identities based on gender, race, age, and socio-economic class can intersect to create a whole that is different from its component parts.

Partnering with agencies like the ACLU, the Promise of Justice Initiative, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the MacArthur Justice Center has allowed the Advocacy Center to serve people with disabilities and mental illness who are incarcerated in Louisiana. We share common insights around the goal of de-institutionalization and basic human rights. As Louisiana is considered the incarceration capital of the world, those are people we must not ignore.

I find my work now more challenging than ever. I am proud of our accomplishments and look forward to partnering with our supporters as we fight for disability rights and face the challenges ahead.

 

Article published: February 8, 2017, 4:15 p.m.