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FULLER v. LANE

June 21, 1988

DAVID H. FULLER AND GEORGE HOLLGARTH, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MICHAEL P. LANE, DALE PETERSEN, MARY SCHWEIZER, JOSEPH GALASSI, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:

OPINION

Is there a constitutional right to work in prison?

Clearly — NO!

Fuller and Hollgarth (former inmates at the Lincoln Correctional Center) initiated this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that Defendants — various employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections — violated their constitutional rights by denying them placement in a work release program. Plaintiffs claim that Defendants impermissibly deny all convicted sex offenders placement in the program.

Currently before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

It is allowed.

Summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552-53, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Herman v. National Broadcasting Co., Inc., 744 F.2d 604, 607 (7th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 470 U.S. 1028, 105 S.Ct. 1393, 84 L.Ed.2d 782 (1985). Of course, "[i]n determining whether factual issues exist, a reviewing court must view all the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party." Black v. Henry Pratt Co., 778 F.2d 1278, 1281 (7th Cir. 1985). However, "Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment . . . against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. at 2553.

I

The undisputed facts are as follows: Both Plaintiffs were incarcerated in the Lincoln Correctional Center at the time this action arose. David Fuller was serving a seven-year sentence for attempted deviate sexual assault, intimidation, and unlawful restraint. George Hollgarth was serving a sentence for an aggravated criminal sexual abuse conviction.

In March 1985, Fuller applied for the work release program at the Lincoln Correctional Minimum Security Center. His application was approved at the institutional level. On June 3, 1985, however, Defendant Joseph Galassi, the Transfer Coordinator for the Illinois Department of Corrections, denied Fuller's request. Galassi stated that he was denying Fuller's pre-release application "[b]ased on the nature of the offense."

Fuller filed a second application for participation in the work release program after the waiting period for reviewing requests expired. His application was again denied. On December 20, 1985, Defendant Lane, the Director of Corrections, wrote a letter to Fuller indicating:

  I have taken the liberty of reviewing your general
  office file and I note that the Transfer Coordinator
  initially denied your request for community
  correctional center placement on June 3, 1985, based
  upon the serious nature of the instant offense. I
  note that you are serving concurrent sentences of
  seven-years for Attempted Deviate Sexual Assault,
  four-years for Intimidation and three-years for
  Unlawful Restraint. You appeared before the
  Administrative Review Board Board on July 5, 1985, at
  which time that Panel recommended, to which I
  concurred, that your grievance be denied.
  Essentially, I remain of the opinion that the
  rationale cited by the Transfer Coordinator was
  appropriate. Therefore, no further action is
  warranted with regard to this issue.

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