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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decided one Indiana case, a prisoner appeal, May 29th

In Shane Kervin v. La Clair Barnes (ND Ind., Moody), a 7-page opinion, Judge Posner affirms the trial court's dismissal of the suit, after finding:

The judge made two errors in finding that Kervin could not establish a violation of the Sandin standard, though they were not consequential.
The opinion concludes:
The serious psychological consequences of such quasi-solitary imprisonment have been documented. See, e.g., Elizabeth Bennion, “Banning the Bing: Why Extreme Solitary Confinement is Cruel and Far Too Usual Punishment,” 90 Indiana Law Journal 741 (2015); Stuart Grassian, “Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confine-ment,” 22 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 325 (2006); Craig Haney & Mona Lynch, “Regulating Prisons of the Future: A Psychological Analysis of Supermax and Soli-tary Confinement,” 23 N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change 477 (1997).

Kervin, however, was placed in segregation for at most 30 days and, more importantly, does not allege that he suf-fered any significant psychological or other injury from it. So the judge was right to dismiss his suit. But we take this op-portunity to remind both prison officials and judges to be alert for the potentially serious adverse consequences of pro-tracted segregation as punishment for misbehavior in prison, especially the kind of nonviolent misbehavior involved in the present case. AFFIRMED

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 30, 2015 09:50 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions