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Peoples v. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) Detention Center

Close Date: 11/27/2006
Topic(s): Scope of Statutory Rights and Remedies
Status: closed
Citation: 04-3071
Date Of Involvement: 06/21/2004
Docket: 06-7031

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Description:

In this case, Public Citizen argued on behalf of Cornelius Peoples that corrections officers employed by private prison corporations under contract with the federal government (Federal Bureau of Prisons), who inflict cruel and unusual punishment on prison inmates (violating his Eighth Amendment rights), should be liable for constitutional torts to the same extent as prison guards employed directly by the federal government under the Bivens doctrine.

Question presented:

Is a federal prisoner precluded from suing a prison guard for violating his Eighth Amendment rights, as ordinarily authorized under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), solely because the United States Marshals Service directed that he be incarcerated in a private prison?

Brian Wolfman and Amanda Frost represented the petitioner at the cert stage, and the Supreme Court denied cert.