Monday, May 16, 2005

Disabled inmate sues Georgia

Inmate's disability case goes to justices
Goodman, who uses a wheelchair, was convicted of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and illegal drug possession with intent to distribute. Since last year, as well as from 1996 to 1999, Goodman says he has been held in a cell measuring 12 feet by 3 feet for 23 hours per day in a high-security section of the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville.

Goodman sued Georgia in 1999, alleging cruel and unusual punishment in a variety of ways.

He says prison officials have often failed to provide the assistance he needs to get to the toilet, shower or bed.

As a result, his cell floor is covered with his feces and urine, and he has often sat in his own waste while officials have ignored his requests for cleaning supplies and assistance, Goodman says.

He also says the small size of his cell prevents him from turning in his wheelchair, leaving him essentially immobile. In addition, Goodman alleges that the lack of assistance and wheelchair accessibility has prevented him from getting to the prison's law library, counseling, educational services, vocational training and recreation, which are available to other inmates.

He says his efforts to get to his toilet and shower without assistance have resulted in broken toes, knee injuries and a fall-induced epileptic seizure. Goodman also says his confinement in high security was because of his disability, not because he presents a threat to anyone.
Normally, I don't have much sympathy or empathy for prisoners. I usually feel they earned what they get. But, if this description is true, I think GA should do something different.