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Case Name McCray v. Bennett PC-AL-0016
Docket / Court 78-27 ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1978, an inmate in the Alabama Prison System filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had violated his constitutional rights by utilizing ... read more >
In 1978, an inmate in the Alabama Prison System filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Alabama Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had violated his constitutional rights by utilizing sentencing procedures that confined him in a segregation cell for disciplinary reasons.

On December 15, 1978, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama (Judge Frank Minis Johnson, Jr.) held that the actions of the segregation review boards, which released some inmates from segregation long before their terms were served and confined others much longer than the fixed part of their sentences with only a perfunctory review and no objective criteria to guide them, violated the due process clause. The court also held that black prisoners suffered from racial discrimination in their confinement and retention in punitive segregation in violation of their right to equal protection under the constitution. The court ordered the Alabama State Board of Corrections to promulgate guidelines concerning operations of segregation review boards and make them available to prisoners confined in the segregation unit, to publish a list of valid factors that the review boards must consider in deciding whether to release an inmate from punitive segregation, and to provide written notice of the reasons for the bimonthly review board's actions to each prisoner denied release from segregation. McCray v. Bennett, 467 F.Supp. 187 (M.D.Ala. 1978). We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 09/11/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Disciplinary segregation
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Alabama Prisons
Plaintiff Description Alabama prison inmates challenging as unconstitutional the sentencing practices followed in confining prisoners to segregation cells for disciplinary reasons
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1978 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion 12/15/1978 (467 F.Supp. 187) (M.D. Ala.)
PC-AL-0016-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Johnson, Frank Minis Jr. (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit, M.D. Ala.)
PC-AL-0016-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Carroll, John L. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0016-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Baxley, William J. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0016-0001
Breland, Linda C. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0016-0001
Newman, Larry R. (Alabama)
PC-AL-0016-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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