U.S. district court double bunking. (Conditions of Confinement).
Canell v. Multnomah County" 141 F.Supp.2d 1046 (D.Or. 2001). An inmate brought a [section] 1983 action alleging that his conditions of confinement in a county jail violated his constitutional rights. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The district court held that the inmate did not suffer a constitutionally significant injury, sufficient to support a [section] 1983 action under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), as the result of jail officials' failure to shower and "debug' inmates or test them for communicable diseases before double bunking them and mixing them with the general population. The inmate's alleged injuries consisted of toe fungus, occasional constipation, brief denials of food, sanitation, and water, nose sores, and cold winter temperatures. The court found that the inmate's exposure to a cellmate suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) did not violate his rights, even though he was splashed in the eye with vomit from the cellmate, where the i nmate had not since been tested as HIV positive. According to the court, the inmate's fear that his cellmates might attack him did not support a [section] 1983 action even if he was actually attacked once, because the attack did not require him to seek medical attention. The court did not find a constitutional violation that would survive PLRA requirements arising from the inmate's allegations that he was required to wash chairs for 45 minutes, even though the task caused pain in his hands and elevated his blood pressure and stress. The court noted that the inmate must show that he was required to work beyond his strength, that he risked his life or health, or that he suffered undue pain. The court held that the jail's policy of charging inmates with the ability to pay for medical services did not violate the Eighth Amendment, absent evidence that any serious medical need went untreated as a result of the policy. The court noted that it is constitutionally acceptable to charge inmates a small fee for health c are when indigent inmates are guaranteed service regardless of their ability to pay. (Multnomah County Jails, Oregon)
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|Publication:||Corrections Caselaw Quarterly|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2001|
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