Posts tagged "1103618"

Butler v. Turco, et al. (and a companion case) (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-036-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReportersjc.state.ma.us   17-P-814                                        Appeals Court 17-P-968   BRIAN BUTLER  vs.  THOMAS A. TURCO & others[1] (and a companion case[2]).     Nos. 17-P-814 & 17-P-968.   Worcester.     Suffolk.     February 5, 2018. – March 30, 2018.   Present:  Meade, Sullivan, & Wendlandt, JJ.     Imprisonment, Grievances.  Commissioner of Correction.  Constitutional Law, Imprisonment, Ex post facto law, Double jeopardy, Cruel and unusual punishment.  Due Process of Law, Prison regulation.  Practice, Civil, Dismissal.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 5, 2016.   A motion to dismiss was heard by David Ricciardone, J.   Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 13, 2015.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Paul D. Wilson, J.     Brian Butler, pro se. Owen McCants, pro se. Sheryl F. Grant for the defendants.     MEADE, J.  The plaintiffs, Brian Butler and Owen McCants, inmates supervised by the Massachusetts Department of Correction (department) and housed at MCI-Norfolk, each brought actions pro se challenging the consequences imposed on them pursuant to the department’s “Program Engagement Strategy” (PES).  The defendants filed motions to dismiss both complaints, which were allowed by two different judges.  The plaintiffs appeal, alleging what we construe to be[3] various constitutional infirmities in the PES program.  We consolidated the cases for hearing in this court, and now affirm. Background.  PES program.  In accordance with its mission to “promote public safety by managing offenders,” the department established “appropriate programming in preparation for [inmates’] successful reentry into the community,” such as the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP).  However, the department is unable to mandate participation in such programs.  As a result, by 2012, a high percentage of offenders declined to attend recommended programs, spending their time in ways that did not address “the very issues that [would] decrease the likelihood that they recidivate.”[4]  Nevertheless, these inmates enjoyed the same privileges as “program compliant” offenders, such as single rooms, housing seniority, and institutional jobs.  In response, in December of 2013, the department announced it would implement PES, an incentivization structure for program participation.[5]  Under PES, privileges are awarded as incentives for inmates who voluntarily participate in programs and are withdrawn from inmates who refuse.  The department notified inmates about PES by amending its institutional procedures, hosting informational sessions for inmates, and creating informational flyers.  PES went into effect on January […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 30, 2018 at 2:18 pm

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