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Case Name Howerton v. Mississippi County JC-AR-0007
Docket / Court 71-54 ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On September 29, 1971, former and present inmates of the Mississippi County (Arkansas) Penal Farm filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, alleging that the county had violated their constitutional rights by requiring ... read more >
On September 29, 1971, former and present inmates of the Mississippi County (Arkansas) Penal Farm filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, alleging that the county had violated their constitutional rights by requiring them to work in unsafe conditions, providing them inadequate medical care and clothing, maintaining unsanitary showering and kitchen facilities at the jail, and failing to protect them from assaults by other inmates. Plaintiffs alleged that the institution forced those sentenced for misdemeanors to work on public works projects for no pay.

On May 11, 1973, the District Court (Judge Garnett T. Eisele) denied the plaintiffs' constitutional claims and requests for declaratory and injunctive relief, dismissing the case. Howerton v. Mississippi County, 361 F. Supp. 356 (E.D.Ark. 1973). The court further held that working of misdemeanants without compensation on public projects was not unconstitutional and that a statute permitting contracts between counties to incarcerate and work convicts from other counties did not violate the Thirteenth Amendment. We have no further information on this case besides this published opinion.

David Terry - 04/25/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Bathing and hygiene
Personal injury
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Mississippi County
Plaintiff Description inmates of the Mississippi County (Arkansas) Penal Farm
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1971 - 1973
Case Closing Year 1973
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion 05/11/1973 (361 F.Supp. 356) (E.D. Ark.)
JC-AR-0007-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Eisele, Garnett Thomas (E.D. Ark.)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Lopez, Christy (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Pearson, Gerald (Arkansas)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Sudbury, Graham (Arkansas)
JC-AR-0007-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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