Private companies in Oregon jails must serve inmates equally

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that private companies providing services to people in Oregon jail custody must follow federal laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the ruling last week came in a case involving a deaf man who filed a federal discrimination lawsuit.

It notches a victory for civil rights advocates, who argued that people with disabilities have borne an outsized burden when seeking medical care while incarcerated.

State lawmakers in 2013 had made correctional facilities exempt from laws requiring equal treatment in accommodation, citing as an example that jailers might need to segregate people for safety reasons.

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