Monday, July 21, 2003

Is it a denial of equal protection to house state inmates in a local regional jail?

In Khaliq v. Angelone, the Fourth Circuit in a per curiam opinion for the panel of Chief Judge Wilkins and Judges Gregory and Traxler rejected the equal protection claims of state inmates housed in the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail.

The Court noted that "Appellants had no federal right to be housed in any particular state facility, or in a state corrections facility as opposed to a local jail compensated by the state for the cost of incarcerating state inmates pending their transfer to an available and appropriate space within a state facility."

In addition, the Court agreed the justifications for the differing treatment could withstand the minimal constitutional scrutiny required, as "Appellants’ allegations, if proven, fail to establish that their imprisonment in the ACRJ was irrational, arbitrary, or otherwise not in furtherance of a legitimate penological interest."

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