United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
M. VIRDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner
complaint of Adam Lee Pinkton, who challenges the conditions
of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the
purposes of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes
that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit.
The plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, which provides a federal cause of action against
“[e]very person” who under color of state
authority causes the “deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff alleges
that: (1) the defendants interfered with his use of the
grievance process; (2) the general conditions of his
confinement were unconstitutionally harsh; (3) the defendants
denied other inmates adequate medical care; (4) the
defendants awarded educational certificates to other inmates,
who did not earn them; (5) the defendants did not hold a fire
drill in his unit for over a year; (6) the defendants denied
him access to the court, and (7) Warden Lepher Jenkins
retaliated against him for seeking redress for grievances.
Handling of Grievances
Mr. Pinkton's claims involve his incarceration at the
Marshall County Correctional Facility. At various times, Lt.
Collins does not process inmates' grievances, including
Mr. Pinkton's. Pinkton alleges that Warden Lepher Jenkins
and Contract Monitor Barbara James have failed to properly
supervise Collins. He states that he has raised some or all
of the issues listed above through the grievance process, but
the grievances have been either ignored or mishandled. He
argues that an officer's statement, without accompanying
physical evidence, should not be enough to find inmates
guilty of rule infractions. Mr. Pinkton pursued the grievance
process as to at least some of his claims. Some of those
grievances were rejected because “Relief is beyond the
power of the Mississippi Department of Corrections to
grant.” In these grievances, he requested that various
MCCF or MDOC officials be terminated.
of Access to the Courts
the grievances that Mr. Pinkton filed involved the failure
Ms. Brown, director of the Inmate Legal Assistance Program,
to provide him with case law and mail service so that he
could send documents to the Mississippi Parole Board in
support of his petition for parole. Ms. Brown did not send
the documents, and the Parole Board denied his request.
Conditions of Confinement:
Mr. Pinkton's claims arise out of this allegation:
contraband in the facility, inability to properly monitor
inmates, moldy showers, unsanitary kitchen, inadequate
exercise, and leaks from the ceiling. In a second amended
complaint , Mr. Pinkton describes an episode that
occurred after the filing of his original complaint
during which guards put inmates in danger of attack by gang
members. There was no incident, but when he and another
inmate complained about it, the guards cuffed him, locked him
in the shower area for two hours, and said, “I'll
kill you. Yo u don't run shit. Warden Jenkins told us to
lock you up in the shower.”
Present in the Facility:
Pinkton makes the general observation that a great deal of
contraband makes its way into the facility. To support this
claim, Mr. Pinkton provided a copy of a bulletin for the
inmates stating that the facility will go into lockdown to
address the problem of excessive contraband.
Pinkton complained about mold in the showers, and, in
response to his complaint, the staff member stated that the
prison provides inmates cleaning supplies three times per
week, and it's up to the inmates to use them. Mr. Pinkton
testified at his Spears hearing that he cleans the
shower “every day”. He uses the germicidal
heavy-duty cleaner provided by prison staff, but neither his
cleaning efforts nor those of others have removed the dark
substance he believes to be mold. Not even a pressure washer
could remove the substance from the shower grout.
a general complaint regarding the use of fans, rather than
air conditioning, at the Marshall County Correctional
Facility in summertime, which have exacerbated his
hypertension and caused him to become dizzy.
Mr. Pinkton alleges that the styrofoam containers holding
inmates' meals sometimes have rodent droppings on them.
He also alleges that the food is cold by the time it reaches
the inmates. Mr. Pinkton stated that he has never seen a case
where an inmate found rodent droppings in his food, and he,
himself, has suffered no harm from the unsanitary conditions.