University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Rethinking the Use of Class Actions to Combat Inmate-on-Inmate Sexual Assault: A Case Study of LaMarca v. Turner"
Date May 18, 2004
Author Karen Y. Paik
Author Institution Washington University
Author Role Law Student
Paper [ PDF ]
Abstract This paper argues that the class action is a critical litigation tool for combating the problem of inmate-on-inmate sexual assault in prisons and jails. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the class action as a litigation strategy, this paper incorporates a case study of LaMarca v. Turner--No. 82-8196 (S.D. Fla.); 662 F.Supp. 647 (S.D. Fla. 1987); 861 F.2d 724 (11th Cir. 1988); 995 F.2d 1526 (11th Cir. 1993); 510 U.S. 1164 (1994); 113 F.3d 1250 (11th Cir. 1997)--a class action involving a Florida state prison called
Glades Correctional Institution ("GCI"). The author identifies three reasons
the class action is an effective litigation tool. First, the "deliberate indifference" standard of culpability under the Eighth Amendment for prison officials is difficult to show in individual actions. The class action provides plaintiffs an effective means for showing prison conditions from which the fact-finder can infer the prison officials' culpability. Second, class actions
allow plaintiffs to seek class-wide injunctive relief to redress the risk of sexual assault. Third, the equitable nature of injunctive relief gives plaintiffs the option to have the case tried by a judge. For the plaintiff, injunctive relief is generally better than damages because juries may factor in plaintiffs' convictions against any award for damages.

This Resource Relates To
case LaMarca v. Turner (PC-FL-0007)

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