Menard prisoner claims discrimination in suit

Steve Gonzalez May 31, 2006, 6:21am

A Menard Penitentiary inmate, serving 40 years for armed robbery, filed a civil rights complaint against officers at the maximum security prison in Chester claiming he was discriminated against because of his race. He is seeking a $1 nominal award, among other damages.

Antoine Wainwright claims that on Jan. 30, officers departed from their normal procedures and spitefully wrote up a disciplinary report against him because he filed a previous suit against the prison when he allegedly did not receive proper medical care.

Wainwright claims he told the officers that he was innocent and that there is insufficient evidence against him in the report.

He claims that due to the bogus report he was taken to segregated confinement.

Wainwright also is seeking $35,000 in compensatory damages, $35,000 in punitive damages, and attorney fees -- even though he is representing himself in the case.

According to Wainwright, on Feb. 21, the warden approved the segregation placement without sufficient evidence causing him to file grievances.

He claims that on March 9, the grievance officer expunged the report after hearing to the evidence in the case.

"Defendants had no penological objective for their actions," Wainwright wrote in his handwritten complaint.

Wainwright claims he suffered a loss of his constitutional rights, was unlawfully placed in segregation, and was given disadvantage in the enjoyment and privileges and in obtaining grade-status, jobs, transfer, contact visits, access to the law library and fear.

Wainwright's suit has been assigned to District Judge J. Phil Gilbert.

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