PositionBrief Article

U.S. District Court


Waring v. Meachum, 175 F.Supp.2d 230 (D.Conn. 2001). Inmates brought several class actions against prison administrators and correctional officers alleging constitutional violations during a lockdown. The actions were consolidated and the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The court held that where a genuine emergency exists, officials may be more restrictive than they otherwise may be, and certain services maybe suspended temporarily without violating the Eighth Amendment. The lockdown was precipitated by a series of prisoner assaults on staff and other prisoners. According to the court, the provision of cold food is not, by itself, an Eighth Amendment violation as long as it is nutritionally adequate and is prepared and served under conditions that do not present an immediate danger to the health and welt-being of the inmates who consume it. The prisoners had been served primarily sandwiches for lunch and dinner, and cold cereal for breakfast, during an eight-day lockdown. T he court noted that the diet was without fruits and vegetables, but that it was imposed for only a short period. According to the court, any failure to provide religious diets during the course of the...

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