Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Prison Failed to Meet Good Faith Standard in Denying Basic Privileges to Prisoner Placed in Protective Custody

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that defendants failed to meet a good faith standard.

Malcome Little, an Illinois state prisoner, was victim to several sexual assaults and numerous instances of being victimized by gang members as well as more aggressive prisoners. Little requested help, and was placed into the Safekeeping program. Safekeeping is a type of protective custody for prisoners considered weak and unable to protect themselves against attacks. Once in the program, Little complained that his new classification was too restrictive. He was denied the ability to attend church and rehabilitative programs or receive medical care. Essentially, Little was subject to the same restrictions and deprivations imposed upon prisoners who committed disciplinary infractions.

Little filed suit under 42 USC § 1983 as a class action. Little and the other member of the class action painted a picture of physical brutality and sexual assaults by their fellow prisoners. The class action was denied.

The U.S. District Court of Illinois granted defendant’s motion to dismiss because the district court found that there was nothing impermissible in denying voluntary segregates rights based on Pierson v. Ray, 87 S. Ct. 1213.

In the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision, the court reversed and remanded the district court’s ruling based on Knell v. Bensinger, 522 F.2d 720, 725 (7th Cir. 1975), because under the facts alleged defendants failed to meet the objective good faith standard. See: Little v. Walker, 552, F. 2d 193 (7th Cir. 1977).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Little v. Walker