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$30,000 Award for New York Prisoner Held in Tuberculosis Isolation

$30,000 Award for New York Prisoner Held in Tuberculosis Isolation

A New York Federal Jury awarded a prisoner $30,000 for injuries incurred from constitutional violations that resulted from him being held in tuberculosis isolation against his will, despite not having the disease.

New York prisoner Paul Jolly, 25-year-old at the time, was placed in medical keep lock after he refused a PPD test for tuberculosis on grounds that it violated his Rastafarian religious beliefs. He remained in that status from 1991 to 1995, which is when he received an affirmance of an injunction from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Jolly testified he was confined to a 6 foot by 8 foot cell 24 hours per day, 7 days a week with the exception of a weekly 10 minute shower. He was denied visits and all out-of-cell exercise and privileges. He claimed these conditions violated his rights under The Eight Amendment. He also claimed his Fourteenth Amendment rights were denied by the failure to give him notice and a hearing prior to his isolation. He testified that he underwent three chest x-rays while in isolation that came back negative for tuberculosis, and asserted that an alternative means to the PD was available to monitor for the disease.

On December 16, 1997, the Jury awarded Jolly $30,000. See: Jolly v. Coughlin, USDC, S.D. New York, Case: 92 Civ 9026

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