photo of prison barbed wire

Dickinson v. Cochran: Eleventh Circuit Puts Qualified Immunity on the Ropes in Constitutional Challenge to Jail Conditions

Dale Turley*

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In Dickinson v. Cochran, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reviewed an inmate’s § 1983 claims against jail officials after he was stabbed by another inmate.  Dickinson should ring alarm bells for the Alabama Department of Corrections and prison officials throughout the state, because the court brushed aside qualified immunity and laid out a roadmap that future inmates in similar situations can follow. Dickinson emphasizes that the State of Alabama and its prison officials cannot always rely on qualified immunity for protection.  How the State will and should handle future inmate assaults while awaiting completion of new prisons remains to be seen.

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