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Moldy Mattress Nets Inmate $295k


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Moldy Mattress Nets Inmate $295k

Jury: Lousy bedding violated Wisconsin felon's constitutional rights

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0919082mattress1.html

SEPTEMBER 19--A Wisconsin man serving time for reckless homicide yesterday was awarded $295,000 by a federal jury that found the inmate's constitutional rights were violated when he was forced to spend two months sleeping on a moldy, waterlogged mattress. Reggie Townsend, 29, scored the six-figure windfall after a U.S. District Court panel decided that he was improperly treated while locked up in late-2004 at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution. The jury's special verdict can be found below.

Following a jail riot, Townsend spent about 60 days in a 12' x 6' segregation unit he shared with another state inmate. During that period, the jury found that Townsend had to sleep on the cell floor atop a thin mattress adjacent to the shower. The mattress, Townsend claimed, soon became "wet, moldy and foul smelling" and was not replaced despite his complaints to jail guards.

Though he did not suffer any physical harm from the unsanitary bedding, Townsend was deprived of the "minimal civilized measure of life's necessities," the jury decided after deliberating six hours. While the $295,000 punitive damage award was levied against Jerry Allen, a corrections officer, the State of Wisconsin may end up on the hook for the alleged actions (or inaction) of its employee.

Townsend is serving 23 years for his role in a Milwaukee street shootout that left an 11-year-old girl dead. The child was hit by a stray bullet while inside her grandmother's home.

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Oh my. :roll:

I understand that inmates should have the basic necessities and be treated as human beings. This is something I agree with if even if just for the sake of the rare innocent person.

But.......could they not have just rewarded him with a new fricking mattress? But almost 300k? When's he going to get the money,when he's done serving his time in jail? :roll:

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Oh my. :roll:

I understand that inmates should have the basic necessities and be treated as human beings. This is something I agree with if even if just for the sake of the rare innocent person.

But.......could they not have just rewarded him with a new fricking mattress? But almost 300k? When's he going to get the money,when he's done serving his time in jail? :roll:

All that has to be said is this is America.......:rolleyes:

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They should do like the state of Florida, any money an inmate recieves is charged against him, the state says it costs 50,000 a year to keep prisoners to in his 11 years he would own the state 550.000....

That's a great idea!!! There are always inmates filing ridiculous lawsuits over their soup being too cold, etc. They should just deduct their settlements from what it costs to house them.

It works the same way with the lotttery if someone has unpaid child support...

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