In approximately 1971, two black inmates of the Illinois State Penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois, filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Illinois Department of Correction, Illinois State Penitentiary, and the penitentiary's warden in the United States District Court for the ...
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In approximately 1971, two black inmates of the Illinois State Penitentiary in Joliet, Illinois, filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Illinois Department of Correction, Illinois State Penitentiary, and the penitentiary's warden in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, challenged racial discrimination in vocational and educational offerings, cruel and unusual conditions of disciplinary cells, the lack of due process in disciplinary proceedings, denial of medical care, and obstructing inmates' access to the courts.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Richard B. Austin) dismissed portions of the plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and found no racial discrimination at the prison. On January 10, 1974, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Judge Thomas Edward Fairchild) reversed and remanded. Thomas v. Pate, 493 F.2d 151 (7th Cir. 1974). The court held that prison authorities had to answer inmates' racial discrimination allegations because the plaintiffs showed that racial separation existed. In addition, the court held that an inmate could establish a claim based on inadequate health care if a known drug allergy was ignored or if treatment was delayed to the detriment of the inmate by solitary confinement. The court also ordered the District Court to hear the plaintiff's due process claims.
On October 15, 1974, the United States Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs' petition for a writ of certiorari. Thomas v. Pate, 419 U.S. 879 (1974). Also on October 14, 1974, the Court granted the State's petition for a writ of certiorari, vacated the judgment, remanded for further consideration in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 (1974), and permitted the prisoners to proceed in forma pauperis. Cannon v. Thomas, 419 U.S. 813 (1974), reh'g denied, 419 U.S. 1041 (1974).
On remand, the Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's dismissal of the due process claims and remanded. Thomas v. Pate, 516 F.2d 889 (7th Cir. 1975) (per curiam), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 877 (1975). The Seventh Circuit held that the complaint was sufficient to state a due process claim under general constitutional principles. The court noted that, because the due process violations were already alleviated, the plaintiffs' due process claim would likely be dismissed on remand.
The file contains no other information.Elizabeth Chilcoat - 06/01/2006