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Disabled inmates sue state over work credits

Posted September 17, 2010

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— Six inmates have filed suit against the state Department of Correction, alleging that the department violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by linking credits to reduce prison sentences to work done behind bars.

The inmates want the DOC to adjust its policies so that they and others who suffer physical impairments have a way to gain credits to reduce their sentences.

The six inmates suffer from various conditions, from cancer to arthritis to cerebral palsy, and one has had a leg amputated, according to the lawsuit.

They allege that DOC policies allow disabled inmates to receive credits on their sentences only if they are deemed "medically unfit," but say that prison officials rarely designate anyone as unfit. Also, some prisons are prohibited from classifying someone as medically unfit because they lack a certain level of health care resources for inmate care, according to the lawsuit.

The inmates contend that their physical limitations meet the ADA's definition of a disability, so they shouldn't be prevented from earning sentence-reduction credits because prison officials don't consider them medically unfit.

"Defendants exclude plaintiffs from gain and earned-time programs and the associated benefits of sentence reduction credits by denying plaintiffs access to work and program assignments by reason of their disabilities," the suit states.

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  • rjackson1507 Sep 17, 2010

    They have more "rights" than law abiding citizens. And I have to pay for my 3 hots and a cot.

  • Vietnam Vet Sep 17, 2010

    Whatever happened to, you are sentenced to 5 years, you do 5 years? What is all this sentence reduction garbage?

  • Lead by Example Sep 17, 2010

    This is complete garbage, no inmate should be "entitled" to have their sentence reduced via good credit. I hope this lawsuit is thrown out immediately.

  • kodac31 Sep 17, 2010

    The bleeding heart liberal democrats will cave on this lawsuit and settle.

  • maeveduir Sep 17, 2010

    @pickanother- I am so with you on that one.

  • Go Figure Sep 17, 2010

    they get 3 hots and a cot already...

  • Go Figure Sep 17, 2010

    oh paleeeeeeeeze tell me no.

  • ORMA Sep 17, 2010

    What part of welcome to jail do they not understand. If you don't like how your treated there, you shouldn't have committed the crime in the first place. It is bad enough that my tax dollars are paying for their health care which is probably better than I get myself.

  • delilahk2000 Sep 17, 2010

    YOU ARE IN PRISON NOT SUMMER CAMP OR HAVE A SUMMER JOB.......I SAY YOU GET TO MUCH NOW TO WHERE IT DOES NOT LOOK LIKE YOU ARE IN PRISON....ENOUGH WITH THESE STUPID LAWSUITS........AT OUR EXSPENSE.

  • jlh4jdj Sep 17, 2010

    The poor little babies! No mommy to spoil them anymore. It's funny if a man tries to sue to get his name off of a birth certificate that he is not the father of, the court will throw it out and charge him fees. But, a convicted criminal get's every turn. All I have to say is "....Ol Johnny was right, ....."

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