Prisoner wants compensation for having to sleep near toilet

Steve Gonzalez Jun. 30, 2008, 2:38am

A man serving a 49-year prison sentence for predatory criminal sexual assault and possession of child pornography filed a federal lawsuit against Clark County Sheriff Jerry Parsley and Jail Administrator John Hammond alleging his civil rights were violated.

Scott D. Hunt filed the suit June 16, in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis alleging he was sent back to the Clark County Jail on May 11, 2007, so that a trial court could re-sentence him following a several convictions for sexual assault and child pornography.

Hunt claims that once he was admitted into custody there he was housed in the north side of "N-2" even though two other inmates were already housed there.

According to Hunt, each cell block is only equipped with two beds and that new admissions are required to put their mats on the floor to sleep.

He claims he was required to put his mat on the floor next to the toilet to sleep for the night and the next morning asked the officer on duty for cleaning supplies so he could clean the floor near the toilet where he was required to sleep.

Hunt claims he was informed that cleaning supplies were only handed out on Fridays and that he would have to wait until then to get any supplies.

Hunt claims he was forced to sleep in the same spot for a week until he was moved to cell block "N-1" after another inmate was released.

According to Hunt, on June 21, 2007, when he was moved out of his cell, an inmate had to be isolated because he was suicidal and he was again forced to sleep by the toilet in cell block "N-1."

Hunt claims during the night, inmates would use the toilet and a combination of urine and water would splash out of the toilet and onto his face.

He claims he told the officer on duty of his health concerns regarding the sleeping conditions and was told he needed to talk to Administrator Hammond regarding the problem.

Hunt claims Hammond told him it was jail policy that all inmates were to be locked in their cells at night and if they did not have a bed they had to sleep on the floor next to the toilet whether they liked it or not.

According to Hunt, Clark County did not have a grievance procedure to complaint about sleeping conditions and that Sheriff Parsley informed him that he "did not like words that contained grievance," the complaint states.

Hunt claims that once he was re-sentenced, he filed a grievance with the Illinois Department of Corrections on Aug. 3, 2007, but never received an answer to it.

Hunt claims that Parsley and Hammond purposefully failed to provide inmates with the inmate rules and regulation handbook to keep inmates from knowing their rights of how to file complaints about conditions or overcrowding.

He also claims the main purpose of having inmates sleep on the floor was done to save money and a way to punish certain inmates.

Hunt is asking the court to enter a declaration that the acts and omissions by Parsley and Hammond violated his constitutional rights. He also seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting inmates from sleeping on the floor and wants compensatory damages in excess of $150,000, plus punitive damages in excess of $150,000.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Michael Reagan.

Hunt is now assigned to Menard, a maximum security prison in Chester. He is eligible for parole in August 2046.

08 CV 441 MJR

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Organizations in this Story

Illinois Department of Corrections
1301 Concordia Ct
Springfield, IL 62702

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