United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Montez Rashaad Williams Bey, who was an inmate of the
Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) at
the time he filed his Complaint but has since been released,
brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In the Complaint,
Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated his due process rights
under the Fourteenth Amendment when they failed to provide
him with a comprehensive re-entry plan and the interest from
his inmate trust fund. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints to
filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a
defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
Complaint, Plaintiff makes the following allegations:
Sometime after arriving at East Moline Correctional Center on
February 8, 2018, Plaintiff read in the ABA Criminal Justice
Standards on Treatment of Prisoners that he was entitled to a
comprehensive re-entry plan prior to his release from IDOC
custody. (Doc. 1, p. 2-3). On October 5, 2018, Plaintiff
wrote a grievance asking about his comprehensive re-entry
plan but never received a response. (Id. at p. 3).
He wrote a letter to his counselor asking for his re-entry
plan and his counselor responded that his parole plan was
still pending in Chicago. On April 29, 2019, Plaintiff sent a
request slip to Warden Hamilton asking for assistance with
his re-entry plan. (Doc 1, p. 4). The warden's secretary
responded to the request indicating that clinical services
may have classes to help Plaintiff prepare for release.
(Id.). He also submitted a grievance setting forth
his plan needs. (Id. at p. 5).
attended a parole school hosted by Hutton and Andrew Zickert
on May 15, 2019. (Id. at p. 6). Plaintiff was
provided a packet for the class, which he read. Inmates asked
questions, and Hutton provided useful information. But
Zickert, who informed the class it was his first parole
school, was not knowledgeable on the subject. Zickert read
the entire packet, Hutton answered questions from inmates,
and the class was dismissed. Plaintiff approached Hutton and
Zickert after the class, provided him with his self-made
re-entry plan, and informed them that he needed help from the
counselors on his plan and obtaining financial assistance
upon his release. (Id. at pp. 6-7). Zickert informed
Plaintiff that was not part of his job duties and that
Plaintiff's questions about financial assistance were
addressed at a previous summit. (Id. at p. 7).
Hutton stated that he would have to ask his supervisor,
Nicole Genisio, about providing Plaintiff with a plan, as he
had not seen a plan like the one presented by Plaintiff nor
had an inmate ever asked for such a plan. (Id.).
Hutton wrote Plaintiff a response on May 20, 2019 informing
him that the counselors could not help him with his request,
and he would have to seek assistance through the law library.
(Id. at p. 8).
also sent a grievance about his re-entry plan but Zickert
responded on May 16, 2019, informing Plaintiff that he could
have attended the re-entry summit on May 8 but Plaintiff
declined the invitation. (Id. at p. 9). The summit,
put together by counselors, invites vendors who provide
services to inmates being released and includes multiple
topics on loans, housing, jobs, and education. Plaintiff
admits that he declined to attend the summit after speaking
with other inmates as he believed that it did not meet his
needs. The summit was already shown on the prison's movie
channel, and Plaintiff did not believe there would be any
additional information for him at the summit. (Id.
at p. 8). Plaintiff also received a counseling summary
response from Zickert on May 16, 2019, which indicated that
all information about re-entry was presented at the summit
and all information about his release was already provided to
Plaintiff. (Id. at pp. 8-9). Plaintiff does not
believe that he has received all information because he has
not received a copy of counselors' duties, proof of
identification, grievances, and which statutes, codes, rules,
and regulations apply to Defendants. Plaintiff alleges that
if he is not given a proper re-entry plan, he will not have
financial support, clothing, and transportation upon his
release from prison. (Doc. 1, p. 13).
believes that the counselors have violated their job duties
by not properly preparing a re-entry plan for him. He
requested a copy of the counselor's job description from
Todd Pustelnik, Zickert, and Hamilton but was told that he
was not allowed to have a copy and that the job description
was available on the IDOC website. Plaintiff believes the
information is being improperly kept from him. (Id.
at p. 3).
addition to his requests regarding a re-entry plan, Plaintiff
sent requests regarding the interest accumulated in his
prison trust fund account. (Doc. 1, p. 13). He received a
response from the business office stating that inmates do not
receive interest as all interest is paid to the Inmate
Benefit Fund (“IBF”). (Id.). Plaintiff
believes this was improper because the statute does not allow
for IBF to keep the interest on his account. Plaintiff sent a
request slip to Brannon asking how to receive funds from the
IBF. (Id. at p. 14). The business office responded
that the IBF was used for the benefit of all inmates, but
Plaintiff believes he should be able to access the funds
because he is indigent. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
violated his due process rights by not providing him with the
interest and/or funds from the IBF.
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following two counts:
Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against
Defendants for depriving Plaintiff of his comprehensive
re-entry plan without due process.
Count 2: Fourteenth Amendment claim against
Defendants for depriving Plaintiff of the interest in his
trust fund account without due process.
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. Any other claim that
is mentioned in theComplaint but not
addressed in this Order should be considered dismissed