U.S. Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Civil Rights – Cruel and unusual punishment
A claim alleging that a prisoner was forced to wear a see-through jumpsuit in violation of the Eighth Amendment was improperly dismissed.
“King has stated a viable claim that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He complains that he was degraded and humiliated by being transported in a see-through jumpsuit that left him exposed in front of other inmates as well as guards of both sexes. Such compelled and prolonged nudity seems to be, for present purposes, analogous to a lengthy strip-search. King asserts that there was no legitimate reason for this policy, a point he supports with specific factual allegations. Detainees arriving at the intake facility from other jails were not wearing similar garments, which at least tends to suggest that such clothing is not necessary for safe and secure penal transfers. Moreover, King was strip-searched before and after his transfer, and he remained shackled and under surveillance throughout. These facts tend to suggest there was no security reason for keeping transferees in a state of semi-nudity. Moreover, King’s allegation that he was mocked when he objected to the jumpsuit is enough at this stage to raise at least the possibility that the policy was driven by a desire to humiliate or harass. See, e.g., Calhoun, 319 F.3d at 939 (reversing dismissal where prisoner alleged he was subjected to strip searches conducted in deliberately harassing and humiliating way).”
Reversed and Remanded.
13-1769 King v. McCarty
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, McDade, J., Per Curiam.