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Austin v. Wilkinson (2006)

  • Organization: ACLU National Prison Project
  • Document Type: Case law/admin decisions
  • Date Created: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
  • Attachment(s): PDF

March 21, 2006

USDC for the Northern District of Ohio

Background: State inmates in super maximum secu-rity prison facility brought class action against cor-rections officials under ยง 1983 alleging that procedures for transferring them to and retaining them at prison violated due process. The District Court, 189 F.Supp.2d 719, ruled that policy denied due process, and ordered modifications, 204 F.Supp.2d 1024. Prison officials appealed. The Court of Appeals, 372 F.3d 346, affirmed in part, reversed in part and re-manded. Certiorari was granted. The United States Supreme Court, 125 S.Ct. 2384, affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. On remand, inmates moved for order extending court's jurisdiction over due process issues for one year, and officials' moved to terminate prospective relief.

Holdings: The District Court, Gwin, J., held that:
(1) court had authority to order state to implement policy granting inmates protections against erroneous assignments;
(2) Supreme Court decision required that state provide inmates with written statement of reasons justifying placement and retention decisions; and
(3) Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) precluded federal district court from ordering state to reduce long-term inmates' security risk levels.

Inmates' motion granted; officials' motion denied.

  • Isolated Confinement (Segregation)
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