August 4, 2021

ACLU Of Indiana Files Three More Lawsuits Against Miami Prison Administrators

The ACLU of Indiana initially filed lawsuits against  the Miami Correctional Facility on behalf of six inmates in July. - (WFYI file photo)

The ACLU of Indiana initially filed lawsuits against the Miami Correctional Facility on behalf of six inmates in July.

(WFYI file photo)

The ACLU of Indiana has filed three new lawsuits in federal court on behalf of prisoners at the Miami Correctional Facility alleging cruel and unusual punishment. The filings follow six other federal lawsuits from earlier this year.

The complaints allege that the men were isolated in near total darkness for long periods of time. For instance, one of the new complaints alleges that Charles Rodgers was held in restrictive housing from May 2020 to the end of June 2020, and again for two weeks in October. His cell had no working lights and the window was covered with sheet metal, so his television and tablet were the only light sources in the room.

“Mr. Rodgers was released from his cell approximately every three days for 15-25 minutes so he could shower,” the complaint states. “The rest of the time he spent in his darkened cell.”

The complaint also alleges that Rodgers was forced to bang on the door when he suffered from shortness of breath because the emergency call button in his cell was broken.

In each of the nine total cases, prisoners said they filed internal grievances, but that the Miami administrators, warden William Hyatte and deputy warden George Payne, did not address the problems.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Correction declined to comment on the active litigation.

Contact Side Effects reporter Jake Harper at jharper@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @jkhrpr.

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