Prisoner Neglect and Abuse
Prisoner abuse/neglect litigation is a challenging area of civil rights practice. There are many different categories of prisoner cases, but, in general, these cases can be categorized into three main subgroups:
- Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs
- Conditions of confinement
Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs cases can sometimes be generalized as “super med mal,” meaning that these cases often involve medical malpractice issues of such an egregious, repetitive, or systemic nature that an inmate’s constitutional rights are implicated.
Conditions of confinement cases often involve deficiencies in the physical jail or prison that render the incarceration cruel and unusual, or conditions created by the jail administrators that result in inhumane treatment (or mistreatment).
Abuse and assault cases involve a wide range of topics, commonly including prisoner-on-prisoner assault, guard-on-prisoner assault, sexual abuse, torture, and strip searches.
This Litigation Packet supports trial lawyers who are investigating these cases and provides guidance on the unique considerations for representing clients in prisoner abuse cases, including:
- Legal framework underpinning the most common causes of action and discusses unique qualified immunity challenges related to litigating against municipalities and government actors
- Sample case materials and court documents, including complaints, written discovery, deposition transcripts, and opening statements and closing arguments transcripts
- AAJ Education speaker papers and Trial articles on case evaluation, qualified immunity issues, disarming juror bias, and trial practice skills