Too much force in jail or prison can support a constitutional claim and a lawsuit for civil damages. An experienced attorney can evaluate the legal standards associated with such claims—standards which can depend, for example, on whether the inmate was being held in jail as an unconvicted “pretrial detainee” or a convicted prisoner. The attorneys at Budge & Heipt are well-versed in the constitutional standards surrounding force used by jail guards and corrections officers and regularly update their legal research with due consideration to the jurisdiction where the events took place.
The modern trend towards privatization of jails has resulted in certain companies actually operating and running jails under contract with counties, cities, and other municipalities. The lawyers at Budge & Heipt are experienced suing private companies that run correctional facilities. These companies are sometimes charged with running the entire operation, including the security side and the medical side, and privately employ jail guards, correctional nurses, and other staff. Although private, these corrections companies can, in appropriate circumstances, be sued as government actors for constitutional violations against inmates. When employees of a privately-run jail cause serious injury or death to a person—whether from excessive force or medical neglect—an experienced attorney can evaluate who to sue, how to sue, when to sue, and what to sue for.