conduct). Nor is there any allegation or evidence that Scott or Johnson engaged in racially discriminatory practices. Rather, Scott merely reassigned Wilson pursuant to his termination as a cell house helper, and Johnson penalized Wilson for his failure to follow prison rules. Therefore, since there is no evidence that defendants engaged in any racially discriminatory conduct, summary judgment on Wilson's equal protection claim is granted.
B. Due Process
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment provides that "no state shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." U.S. Const. amend. XIV. Essentially, Wilson alleges that his termination as a cell house helper deprived him of either a liberty or property interest without due process.
However, it is settled law that prisoners in Illinois have neither a liberty nor a property interest in their work assignments. Wallace v. Robinson, 940 F.2d 243, 246-49 (7th Cir. 1991) (en banc), cert. denied, 118 L. Ed. 2d 210, 112 S. Ct. 1563 (1992). Thus, inmates in Illinois may be terminated from their jobs or reassigned for any reason--or no reason at all--without violating the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Because Wilson cannot establish the loss of a constitutionally protected property or liberty interest, his Due Process Claim must fail. We therefore grant defendants' motion for summary judgment as to Wilson's due process claims.
C. Eighth Amendment
The Eighth Amendment prohibits the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment. U.S. Const. amend. VIII. The conditions of a prisoner's confinement in a state facility implicate the Eighth Amendment only if the "prisoner is deprived of the 'minimal civilized measure of life's necessities.'" Lunsford v. Bennett, 17 F.3d 1574, 1579 (7th Cir. 1994) (quoting Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347, 69 L. Ed. 2d 59, 101 S. Ct. 2392 (1981)). Conditions-of-confinement claims under the Eighth Amendment must satisfy both an objective and a subjective standard. See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 111 S. Ct. 2321, 2323-25, 115 L. Ed. 2d 271 (1991). The objective prong examines the nature of the alleged conditions, and asks whether such conditions "would be deemed cruel and unusual if prescribed in a state or federal statute as the lawful punishment for a particular offense[.]" Jackson v. Duckworth, 955 F.2d 21, 22 (7th Cir. 1992). Thus, not all unpleasant conditions of confinement will satisfy the objective component. "To the extent such conditions are restrictive and even harsh, they are part of the penalty that criminal offenders pay for their offenses against society." Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 347.
The subjective prong of the Eighth Amendment analysis looks at the intent of the defendants in the commission of the acts or practices that constitute the alleged punishment. "Punishment implies at a minimum actual knowledge of impending harm easily preventable, so that a conscious, culpable refusal to prevent the harm can be inferred for the defendant's failure to prevent it." Duckworth v. Franzen, 780 F.2d 645, 653 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 816, 93 L. Ed. 2d 28, 107 S. Ct. 71 (1986). In other words, defendants' actions must be wanton or with "deliberate indifference." Wilson, 111 S. Ct. at 2326-27.
Wilson alleges that his confinement in cell 3B05 from August 7, 1991 to April 10, 1992 violated his Eighth Amendment rights.
At the outset, we dispose of plaintiff's claim that the cell contained dirt, dust and roaches, and that his ceiling leaked during rainstorms. Such conditions are not sufficiently serious to violate the objective standard of "cruel and unusual," and thus fail to state a claim based on the Eighth Amendment. See Harris v. Fleming, 839 F.2d 1232, 1235-36 (7th Cir. 1988) ("filthy, roach-infested cell" did not violate constitutional standards of decency); Shrader v. White, 761 F.2d 975, 983 (4th Cir. 1985) (leaky roof); cf. Thompson v. Illinois Dept. of Corrections, 1990 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2182, at *3-4 (N.D. Ill. February 28, 1990) (leaky roof in vocational and academic buildings did not satisfy objective prong). Although a closer call, plaintiff's claim with regard to the urine and feces stained mattress also falls short of the objective standard of seriousness. Indeed, while not a pleasant condition of confinement, there is no allegation that Wilson suffered any physical harm from the stains on his mattress. See Lunsford v. Bennett, 17 F.3d 1574, 1580 (7th Cir. 1994) (failure to provide personal hygiene items failed objective prong). Nor can the combination of these conditions support an Eighth Amendment claim, since they do not have "a mutually enforcing effect that produces the deprivation of a single, identifiable human need. . . . " Wilson, 111 S. Ct. at 2327. Thus, since plaintiff cannot satisfy the objective prong of the Eleventh Amendment analysis with regard to these claims, defendants' are entitled to summary judgment.
Plaintiff also claims that his confinement from April 10, 1992 to July 2, 1992 in segregation unit 3F11 violated his Eighth Amendment rights. However, his only complaint about this cell is its lack of operating electrical lights. Without an allegation of more--such as total light deprivation--we find that inadequate lighting does not so offend "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society." Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 346. Furthermore, the fact that prison officials did send a cell house helper to fix Wilson's light fixture militates against a finding of deliberate indifference. Because Wilson's allegations about cell 3F11 fail to satisfy either the objective or subjective components of the Eighth Amendment analysis, we grant defendants' motion with regard to those claims.
However, some of plaintiff's conditions-of-confinement claims do survive defendants' motion for summary judgment. First, plaintiff's claim that feces was on and around his toilet and that he was denied cleaning supplies for some period of time raises a sufficiently serious contention for Eighth Amendment purposes. See Johnson v. Pelker, 891 F.2d 136, 139 (7th Cir. 1989) (placing inmate in cell for three days with feces on walls and no cleaning supplies violated objective standard). Wilson alleges that he informed prison officials of the mess in his cell, and that they refused to provide him with cleaning supplies. Defendants have not denied that his cell was so messed, nor have they offered any explanation for their failure to provide Wilson with cleaning supplies, nor is it clear when he finally received cleaning materials from a fellow inmate. Thus, it appears that genuine issues of fact exist as to whether defendants acted with the requisite intent. Although Wilson's accusations may well prove meritless, defendants have failed to satisfy their burden of demonstrating that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Nor have defendants' met their burden with regard to Wilson's claim that his cell was not heated for a period of three days in January, 1992. While an allegation of inadequate heating by itself may not necessarily state a claim under the Eighth Amendment, the combination of inadequate heating, below freezing temperatures, and failure of prison officials to ameliorate the cold may well support a claim of unconstitutional confinement. As stated by the Supreme Court,
Some conditions of confinement may establish an Eighth Amendment violation "in combination" when each would not do so alone, but only when they have a mutually enforcing effect that produces the deprivation of a single, identifiable human need such as food, warmth, or exercise--for example, a low cell temperature at night combined with a failure to issue blankets.