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Legal Issues in Jail

Legal Issues in Jail. ISSDA Jail School Des Moines, Iowa September 19, 2006 David Vestal ISAC General Counsel dvestal@iowacounties.org (515) 244-7181. Disciplinary Segregation. Putting a prisoner in segregation, even without cause, is not a constitutional violation. Right to Marry.

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Legal Issues in Jail

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  1. Legal Issues in Jail ISSDA Jail School Des Moines, Iowa September 19, 2006 David VestalISAC General Counseldvestal@iowacounties.org(515) 244-7181

  2. Disciplinary Segregation • Putting a prisoner in segregation, even without cause, is not a constitutional violation.

  3. Right to Marry • The Supreme Court has concluded that prisoners have a constitutionally protected right to marry. Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 96, (1987)

  4. Right to Outdoor Exercise • There is no right to outdoor exercise. Campbell v. Cauthron, 623 F.2d 503, 507 (8th Cir.1980)

  5. Right to Exercise Equipment • The lack of exercise equipment does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Rhodes, v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 69 L. Ed. 2d 59, 101 S. Ct. 2392 (1981)

  6. Visitation • “Visitation is a privilege and within the correctional facility's province to administer as it sees fit.” Burke v. Rudnick, 2000 WL 33339652 (D.N.D. 2000)

  7. Commissary • "Because the county provided for the plaintiff's basic necessities (food, shelter, clothing, medical care, etc.), he had no protected property or liberty interest in commissary privileges." Poole v. Stubblefield, 2005 WL 2290450 (E.D.Mo. 2005)

  8. Smoking • “Plaintiff complains that defendants will not allow him to smoke. There is no constitutional right to smoke in prison." Grass v. Sargent, 903 F.2d 1206, 1206 (8th Cir. 1990)

  9. Food • Jail officials must provide a nutritionally adequate diet for prisoners. Divers v. Dep't of Corrections, 921 F.2d 191, 194 (8th Cir. 1990)

  10. Food Cont. • The denial of food violates the constitutional rights of prisoners. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832, 114 S. Ct. 1970, 128 L. Ed. 2d 811 (1994)

  11. Food Cont. • Jails have a duty to provide their prisoners with nutritionally adequate food. But assuming that this is done, jail officials have the discretion to control its contents. Divers v. Department of Corr., 921 F.2d 191, 194 (8th Cir. 1990)

  12. Charging for Medical Care • You can charge for medical care. • You cannot refuse medical care because someone is unwilling or unable to pay for it. Taylor v Greenwell, D. Mo. 2005, Lexis 22373

  13. Religious Services • The state cannot compel or even encourage prisoners' attendance at religious services. Montano v. Hedgepeth, 120 F.3d 844, 850 n. 10 (8th Cir. 1997)

  14. Religious Services Cont. • A jail cannot require prisoners to attend church services or participate in God-related programs like AA or NA Munson v Norris 8th Cir January 2006

  15. Religious Services Cont. • "A prisoner need not be afforded his preferred means of practicing his religion as long as he is afforded sufficient means to do so.“ Murphy v Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 372 F.3d 979, 983(8th Cir. 2004)

  16. Religious Services Cont. • A prisoner is not entitled to “a religious advisor whose beliefs are completely congruent with his own.” Weir v. Nix, 114 F.3d 817, 820 (8th Cir. 1997)

  17. Threatening Language By Jail Staff • Threatening words of jail staff, without more, do not invade a federally protected right. McDowell v. Jones, 990 F.2d 433, 434 (8th Cir. 1993)

  18. Use of Force • An 'actual injury' must be shown to support an excessive force claim under the Fourth Amendment. Hanig v. Lee, 415 F.3d 822, 824 (8th Cir. 2005)

  19. Use of Force Cont. • “The basic question in use of force cases is "whether force was applied in a good faith effort to maintain or restore discipline or maliciously and sadistically to cause harm." Jones v. Shields, 207 F.3d 491, 495 (8th Cir. 2000)

  20. Use of Force Cont. Factors to be considered by a court in making the “use of force” determination include • the need for the application of physical force; • the relationship between the need for physical force and the amount of force applied; and • the extent of the injury suffered by the prisoner. Jones v. Shields, 207 F.3d 491, 495 (8th Cir. 2000)

  21. Use of Force Cont. • “Limited use of the restraint board is not unreasonable, as long as it is only used for the amount of time necessary to restore order.” Sanders v Zeller, U.S. Dist. Ct (N.D. Ia 2006)

  22. Use of Force Cont. • Incidents of property destruction are constitutionally valid reasons for restraining prisoners for short periods to prevent further damage. Hanks v Prachar, 8th Cir., August 2006

  23. Jail Jobs • Prisoners do not have a constitutional right to a particular jail job. Lomholt v. Holder, 287 F.3d 683, 684 (8th Cir. 2002)

  24. Grievance Procedures • “No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a)

  25. Grievance Procedures Cont. • It is well-settled that a prisoner has no constitutional right to an intra-prison grievance system and that the failure to investigate or respond to a prisoner's grievances is not actionable under 42 U.S.C §1983. Buckley v. Barlow, 997 F.2d 494, 495 (8th Cir. 1993)

  26. Grievance Procedures Cont. • Only grievance procedures which are in reality available to a prisoner must be exhausted. Lyon v. Vande Krol, 305 F.3d 806, 808-09 (8th Cir. 2002)

  27. Prisoner Mail • Jail officials do not commit constitutional violations by reading prisoners' outgoing non-privileged mail. Gassler v. Wood, 14 F.3d 406, 408 n.5 (8th Cir. 1994)

  28. Prisoner Mail Cont. • An isolated, inadvertent instance of opening incoming confidential legal mail will not support a §1983 damage action. An isolated incident, without any evidence of improper motive or resulting interference with a prisoner’s right to counsel does not give rise to a constitutional violation. Gardner v. Howard, 109 F.3d 427, 431 (8th Cir. 1997)

  29. Personal Care Products • The failure to regularly provide prisoners with toilet articles including soap, razors, combs, toothpaste, toilet paper, access to a mirror and sanitary napkins for female prisoners constitutes a denial of personal hygiene and sanitary living conditions. Atkins v. County of Orange, 372 F.Supp.2d 377 (S.D.N.Y. 2005)

  30. Cell Searches • A single search, even if legal papers were mistakenly misappropriated, does not constitute the kind of unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain which can violate the Eighth Amendment. Scher v. Engelke, 943 F.2d 921 (8th Cir. 1991)

  31. Prisoner-On-Prisoner Violence • The test in a prisoner-on-prisoner violence case is whether the jail staff was deliberately indifferent to "a known, excessive risk of serious harm" to the victim. Pagels v. Morrison, 335 F.3d 736, 740 (8th Cir. 2003)

  32. Personal Items • Rules related to personal property of prisoners will be upheld unless prisoners can show that the rules are not reasonably related to a legitimate penological interest. McClinton v. ADC (8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Feb. 9, 2006)

  33. Right to Sue • Prisoner claims for injunctive relief to improve prison conditions are moot when the prisoner is transferred to another facility and is no longer subject to those conditions. Smith v. Hundley, 190 F.3d 852, 855 (8th Cir. 1999)

  34. Retaliation • Jail staff cannot retaliate against a prisoner for his use of the jail grievance system. Pool v. Sebastian County, 418 F.3d 934, 942 (8th Cir. 2005)

  35. Retaliation Cont. • A jail can successfully defend a retaliatory discipline claim by showing "some evidence" that the prisoner actually committed a rule violation. Goff v. Burton, 7 F.3d 734, 739 (8th Cir. 1993)

  36. Deliberate Indifference • For the prisoner to succeed in his claim that defendants were deliberately indifferent, he "must evidence (1) he suffered from a serious medical condition, (2) defendants knew of the condition, and (3) defendants deliberately disregarded the condition.“ Kitchen v. Miller, 343 F.Supp.2d 820, 823 (E.D. Mo. 2004)

  37. Deliberate Indifference Cont. • To show deliberate indifference, a prisoner must demonstrate that he suffered objectively serious medical needs, and the officials actually knew of but deliberately disregarded those needs. Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1239 (8th Cir. 1997)

  38. Delays In Medication • “Deliberate indifference” includes intentional interference with a prisoner’s prescribed treatment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05, 97 S. Ct. 285, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251 (1976)

  39. Delays In Medication Cont. • The knowing failure to administer prescribed medicine can itself constitute deliberate indifference. Phillips v. Jasper County, 8th Circuit, February 2006

  40. Delays In Medication Cont. • To prevail on deliberate-indifference claim, a prisoner must show he suffered from serious medical need that the jail staff knew of but ignored. Roberson v. Bradshaw, 198 F.3d 645, 647 (8th Cir. 1999)

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