Excessive Force in Jails and Prisons
All prisoners, including those serving a sentence of incarceration and those held in jail pending trial, have a right to be free from excessive force by prison and jail staff. Unfortunately, many prisoners fall victim to violence perpetrated by correctional staff.
Recently, the Supreme Court found that when force is used against pretrial detainees held in jail pending trial, juries should consider only whether the force used was objectively appropriate, regardless of the intentions of the correctional staff. Loevy & Loevy represented corrections administrators and experts who submitted a brief to the Supreme Court explaining why this was the correct standard to use in the jail setting. The Supreme Court cited to our brief in its opinion explaining why an objective standard was appropriate. That brief can be found here.
Our firm has represented several prisoners (or their families) who were victims of excessive force in prison or jail, including both individual clients and classes of prisoners subjecting to a pattern of abuse. These cases, like all prisoners’ rights cases, are difficult to win. But we have extensive experience and skills litigating excessive force cases, and we work hard to obtain justice for all of our clients.
In 2015, attorneys from Loevy & Loevy filed a putative class action against prison officials at the Illinois Department of Corrections over the abusive shakedowns by members of the “Orange Crush” at four prisons in Southern Illinois. No class has been certified yet, but discovery is ongoing. The plaintiffs have asked for injunctive relief and money damages. For more information about the case, Ross, et al. v. Gossett, et al., click here.
Loevy & Loevy has extensive experience representing men and women in custody in jail or prison. We have filed over 100 cases concerning prisoners’ rights. We have taken on individual clients and represented classes of prisoners numbering in the thousands. We have obtained highly favorable verdicts and settlements for prisoners and/or their loved ones. For more information on our successes, visit our Big Wins page.
Loevy & Loevy has offices in Chicago and Denver, but we take cases across the country and have represented prisoners or their loved ones in states all over the country, including Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Alabama, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and more.
When we take a case, it’s because we believe that a serious constitutional violation has occurred and we are committed to trying to achieve justice for our client. Even though many cases eventually reach settlement, we approach each case with an eye toward getting it into a courtroom. Loevy & Loevy is known for its willingness to take hard cases to trial (and win them), and has a nationally recognized reputation for success in the courtroom.
We always work on a contingency basis in prisoners’ rights cases, so you will not be on the hook for any attorney fees unless we win.
Many prisoners’ rights cases require medical or correctional experts to give opinions about the standard of care in the correctional setting. These experts and other costs associated with civil litigation can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Loevy & Loevy agrees to front the costs for our clients so that they can vindicate their constitutional rights even if they cannot afford to pay.
If you or your loved one is being denied adequate conditions of confinement while in jail or prison, contact us today for a free consultation. You can call us at (312) 243-5900, toll-free (888) 644-6459, or contact us online.
You can also write us at:
Loevy & Loevy
Attn: Prisoners’ Rights
311 North Aberdeen St., 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60607
If you are currently incarcerated, please remember to write “Legal Mail” or “Attorney Mail” on the envelope.
Please keep in mind that all legal claims have deadlines—called statutes of limitations—that require you to file a lawsuit within a certain period of time in order to preserve your legal rights. These deadlines can be quite short (sometimes within six months to a year) and do not stop running even while you are looking for legal representation.
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