Melvin C. v. Schilling

The Youth Law Center in collaboration with the Public Justice Center, Inc. and two private attorneys, filed Melvin C. v. Schilling against the Maryland Department of Education and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Melvin C. was the first case in the country to challenge the failure of an adult prison system to provide appropriate special education services to eligible inmates. On April 7, 1993, the Maryland Board of Public Works voted to approve the settlement of Melvin C. v. Schilling. As a result of the settlement’s action plan, the State of Maryland will screen all young inmates to identify those with educational disabilities. Those inmates who were in special education programs within one year of the date of their arrest will be immediately placed in such programs. Additionally, the state will develop Individual Education Plans for each inmate with a disability, involve parents in the inmate’s educational planning process, provide appropriate in-service training to correctional staff, and young inmates who are denied the opportunity to participate are informed of their legal right to appeal these denials.