**UPDATE: This press release was originally released July 7, 2021 and has been updated to include twenty additional plaintiffs that filed lawsuits against the Miami Correctional Facility.**
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – For the second time in less than 30 days, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed lawsuits on behalf of men who are currently incarcerated at Miami Correctional Facility. Once again, the men were kept in isolation and subjected to brutal and dangerous conditions, suggesting a pattern of cruel and unusual punishment practiced inside the facility's restrictive housing unit.
The lawsuits assert that prison officials were aware of these inhumane and decrepit conditions, and yet failed to repair these hazards or mitigate the harms they were causing.
“The Eighth Amendment requires that incarcerated people must receive the minimal civilized measures of life’s necessities—a baseline standard that officials at Miami Correctional Facility are consistently failing to meet,” said Kenneth J. Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana. “Horrifying stories that continue to emerge from Miami Correctional Facility’s isolation unit shock the conscience and violate the Constitution. In case after case, prison officials subjected these men to brutal conditions no human being should ever experience – knowing full well the pain and trauma they were inflicting. Imagine being trapped in a small dark room where you were subject to being shocked by live electrical wires every time you attempted to move – we wouldn’t tolerate animals being held in such horrifying conditions, how can we tolerate them for people?”
New Plaintiffs Nalakeio Bennett, Latroy Maxwell, and Charles Rodgers join plaintiffs William Anderson, Charles Lyons, Anthony Parish, Jeremy Blanchard, Gerald Reed and Jeffery Wagner in alleging the Miami Correctional Facility deliberately ignored the horrific conditions in which they were held. This brings the total number of lawsuits filed to 29.
The Miami Correctional Facility is aware of multiple grievances filed by the nine men, as well as the restrictive housing unit’s dangerous conditions.
According to the filing, the warden and deputy warden continuously ignored the mens’ claims and refused to make basic repairs, even withholding medical attention when required. The lawsuits assert that prison officials violated the plaintiffs’ Eighth Amendment rights and are liable for compensatory and punitive damages.
Copies of the complaints can be found here: