News

Sixth Circuit: Disciplinary Conviction Does Not Bar Excessive Force Claim

By Christopher Zoukis

Prisoners who claim they were assaulted by guards in violation of the Eighth Amendment are not barred from challenging such abuse in court even if they were found guilty of disciplinary charges in connection with the incident, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has held. Moreover, it is erroneous for a district court to rely on a guard’s written account of the incident when videotape evidence is readily available.

In overturning a grant of summary judgment in favor of a prison guard, the Court of Appeals ruled that the guard’s alleged act of slamming a handcuffed prisoner into a wall and then to the floor was an event legally distinct from the prisoner’s alleged assault on the guard moments earlier. Prison guards who use excessive force after subduing prisoners are not immunized from court oversight as a result of disciplinary infractions against the prisoner, the Sixth Circuit wrote.

Michigan state prisoner Toran V. Peterson filed suit in federal court, claiming that a prison guard identified only as “Jones” had, without provocation, pushed up on his handcuffed arms to “slam” him into a wall, then lifted him three feet off the ground to slam him to the floor. Peterson was not seriously injured but filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint, alleging cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment among other claims.

Read More »

Distance Learning for Inmates: Ohio University

Studies indicate prisoners who complete educational programs while incarcerated have a significantly better chance of finding a job and staying out of prison than those who don’t. Since 1974, Ohio University’s Correctional Education has provided an opportunity for incarcerated students to study, through print-based courses, to earn college credit and/or an Ohio University degree.

Student Information  Image courtesy dispatch.com

Students can request to receive information in the mail about OHIO Correctional Education. Requests can be submitted online (using the online request form on the right), by e-mail at correctional@ohio.edu, by phone toll free at 800.444.2420, or through the mail to Ohio University Correctional Education, 102 Haning Hall, 1 Ohio University, Athens OH 45701.

After a student is admitted to the University, he or she will receive a personalized welcome packet from the student’s academic advisor. Some of the information from the student welcome packet has been included below:

Read More »
Categories
Categories
Archives