8. Classification & separation.

U.S. District Court



Little v. Shelby County, Tenn., 384 F.Supp.2d 1169 (W.D.Tenn. 2005). An inmate brought a [section] 1983 action against a county and sheriff, alleging that he had been raped in jail in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The county stipulated to liability and an order of injunctive relief was issued. Later, the district court found the county in contempt, and the county sought to purge itself of the contempt finding. The court entered a purgation order. The court held that the county and sheriff complied with the Eighth Amendment and purged themselves of contempt through the adoption of a structured reform to correct conditions that included violence, rape and gang control among inmates. In reaching its conclusion, the court considered whether officials took all reasonable steps within their power to comply with the order, which included whether they marshaled their own resources, asserted their highest authority, and demanded the results needed from subordinate persons and agencies in order to effectuate the course of action required by the order. The court praised the county, noting that it had adopted a focused, systemic and information-driven structural reform based on critical exert assessment of essential institutional functions. The county adopted a 14-point remedial scheme that included implementing direct supervision management of inmate cellblocks, improving population management, collecting and utilizing data, and installing an objective inmate classification system. (Shelby County Jail, Tennessee)

U.S. Appeals Court



Peoples v. CCA Detention Centers, 422 F.3d 1090 (10th Cir. 2005). A pretrial detainee who was housed at a detention center operated by a private contractor under a contract with the United States Marshals Service brought actions against the contractor and its employees, alleging Fifth and Eighth Amendment violations. The district court dismissed the action and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the employees did not punish the pretrial detainee in violation of his due process rights when they placed him in segregation upon his arrival at the center and kept him in segregation for approximately 13 months without a hearing. The detainee was first placed in segregation because the center lacked bed space in the general population, and he remained in...

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