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The Charlottesville Newsplex

A lawsuit filed on behalf of four inmates alleging cruel and unusual punishment at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women has been certified as a class-action lawsuit. Judge Norman K. Moon ruled Thursday that the lawsuit filed by the Legal Aid Justice Center against the Department of Corrections and medical staff at FCCW applies to all women incarcerated at the facility in Troy.

The lawsuit was originally filed in July of 2012 on behalf of four inmates, accusing the women’s prison of providing inadequate health care. The allegations of mistreatment include denying inmates access to prescribed medications, under staffing at the prison’s infirmary, and delays in diagnosing and treating prisoners with life-threatening medical issues. As a class-action lawsuit, the outcome of the trial will impact all 1,200 inmates at FCCW, not just the four original defendants in the lawsuit.

“We are hoping that we will get an order from the federal court saying that the Virginia Department of Corrections and the Fluvanna prison have to fix the health care system there and have to put in procedures and hopefully a monitor in place to ensure that corrections are made to the problems we have seen and the women are getting adequate health care,” said Brenda Castaneda, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center.

A trial date has been set for December 1 in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville.