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November 13, 2011

"Lawsuit seeks compensation for inmates held too long"

The title of this post is the headline of this local article out of Iowa. Here is how it starts:

Iowa inmates held past their proper release dates deserve to be compensated for each day they were improperly confined, according to a class action lawsuit filed this week in Polk County District Court. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Mahaska County sex offender Richard Scott and other similarly situated inmates, contends that Scott was held for 46 days too long under new rules outlined in a decision this summer by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Justices ruled in July in a case involving convicted sex offender Michael Anderson that Anderson deserved credit for time spent under home supervision even though he was later found to have violated probation during that time. According to the decision, Iowa law clearly requires that any defendant committed to the state Department of Corrections for supervision “who has probation revoked shall be given credit for such time served.”

Iowa corrections officials say the ruling explicitly changed the math used to calculate prison release dates for more than 3,500 Iowa convicts. “Our position is that they have been prepared for this,” said Jeffrey Lipman, the Des Moines attorney behind the lawsuit. “Knowing that this was an issue, they should have been prepared.”

The class action lawsuit, filed against Iowa Department of Corrections director John Baldwin, contends that “hundreds if not thousands of Iowa inmates” have been detained past the dates they properly should have been set free.

November 13, 2011 at 06:41 PM | Permalink


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An arithmetic error is a negligent tort. The value of false, mistaken incarceration should be calculated. Then the value of the benefit of false incarceration should be calculated and deducted. Examples of benefits: domicile, catered meals, separation from illegal drug use as in a therapeutic program, the value of all programming taking place, such as exercising, classes, religious ceremonies, protection from former enemies and personal security services, greater structure, education and enforcement of morality lessons. If these benefits do not get deducted from the damages, the plaintiff would get unjustly enriched.

It is entirely possible that the class of miscalculating prisons is actually owed money from the plaintiffs and their lawyers. The lawyers should be made to pay from personal assets, not from tax dollars, since the tax payer did not file this potentially invalid claim.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 13, 2011 6:49:24 PM

sorry SC but since according to the language of the law the state DOC had been using the wrong figures from the beginning....it's not the inmates fault the state fowled up!

Perosnally i think anyone held more than 1 sec absent an confinement order should sue!

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 13, 2011 9:57:17 PM

I agree with you a tort has taken place. I am also proposing a new mitigation of damages defense, never used by the defense lawyer traitor, to lower the damages, since we are doing arithmetic here.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 14, 2011 2:06:56 AM

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