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Prisoner Education Guide

California Prisoner Denied Adequate Exercise Time Accepts Settlement

     Thomas Goolsby, a prisoner at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, agreed to a settlement with California prison officials for an undisclosed amount over the inadequate amount of outdoor exercise time he was provided.

     As a maximum security prisoner, Goolsby was only allowed to exercise by himself in an outdoor cage. Although he was supposed to receive an hour of exercise a day five days a week, Goolsby alleged that he was only given two to three hours of exercise every two weeks. He claimed that as a result, he suffered health problems, muscle atrophy and mental health issues.

     On September 17, 2009, Goolsby filed a pro se complaint in federal court against several wardens and prison officials. He alleged that his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment was violated by the denial of exercise time, as it constituted an inhumane condition of confinement. Goolsby sought $138,000 in damages in addition to an increase in the time he was allowed to exercise.

     The defendants responded by explaining that exercise is only available in the yards, and that Goolsby, as a segregated prisoner, received as much as could be provided. They also claimed that the time he was provided satisfied state regulations.

     An undisclosed settlement was reached on November 3, 2011, and the case was dismissed by Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on February 23, 2012.

See: Goolsby v. Carrasco, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Case No. 1:09-cv-01650-JLT (Nov. 7, 2011)

Related legal case

Goolsby v. Carrasco, et al.


 

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