Conditions of confinement.

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U.S. Appeals Court


Alvarado v. Litscher 267 F.3d 648 (7th Cir. 2001). A prisoner brought an action against a prison alleging deliberate indifference to his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court denied the prison's motion to dismiss and the appeals court affirmed, finding that the prisoner stated a claim upon which relief could be granted. The court found that the prisoner's current and future health had been endangered because he had chronic asthma. The prisoner alleged that other prisoners in his non-smoking housing unit smoked in violation of prison policy because correctional officers were frequently not at their post to enforce the smoking ban. The prisoner also alleged that he is unable to participate in programs that would enhance his chances of parole because smoking is permitted in common areas of the prison. (Dodge Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

U.S. District Court


Chilcote v. Mitchell. 166 F.Supp.2d 1313 (D.Or. 2001). A former prisoner and detainees at a federal detention center sued officials alleging they were subjected to unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials, finding no Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations from the size of the cell. The court noted that all three occupants of the cell could not be off of their bunks at the same time because the cell was so small, and the occupants were confined in the cell for 20 to 21 hours daily. The court found that the crowding was necessitated by the volume of incoming detainees and the lockdown was needed because of the danger posed by detainees had not yet been evaluated. The cells had been designed to house two inmates and ranged in size from 80.7 to 96 square feet. In a triple-bunk cell, 40 to 45 square feet of floor space is covered by the bunks, sink and toilet. The remaining floor space, 35 to 40 square feet "effectively does not permit al l three occupants to be off their bunks at the same time." There are no lockers, chairs or tables in the cells. (Federal Detention Center, Sheridan, Oregon)

U.S. District Court


Scotti v. Russell 175 F.Supp.2d 1099 (N.D.lll. 2001). An inmate brought a ?? 1983 action seeking injunctive relief and damages for alleged Eighth Amendment violations. The district court entered judgment for the defendants, finding that the temperature of the inmate's cell was not...

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