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No Due Process Required for Nutraloaf or Plexiglas Cell Placement

Placement of the plaintiff in a cell with a Plexiglas shield and imposition of a restricted diet ("Nutriloaf") as a sanction for repeatedly throwing feces at staff did not violate the Eighth Amendment. The claim is governed by the "malicious and sadistic" standard and the record shows the restrictions were imposed in a good faith effort to maintain prison discipline.

At 242: "... [T]he cruel and unusual punishment clause of the eighth amendment does not prohibit prison officials from restricting an inmate's diet as a punitive measure, as long as the inmate receives nutritionally adequate food that does not present an imminent health risk."

There is no liberty interest in avoiding placement in a shielded cell. Even if there were, the plaintiff received the process due, i.e., a Wolff hearing. Failure to call a witness did not deny due process in the absence of evidence that the witness would have had an impact on the hearing officer's findings. The plaintiff also received a rehearing that cured defects in the earlier hearing. The court distinguishes Walker and Mays on the ground that administrative reversal, expungement and rehearing, resulting in a significant reduction of the sanction, cured procedural defects resulting from the initial hearing. See: Breazil v. Bartlett, 998 F.Supp. 236 (W.D.N.Y. 1997).

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Related legal case

Breazil v. Bartlett