United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOSE A. JUSINO, Plaintiff,
MONICA RINALDI, et al., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Jose A. Jusino, is incarcerated in the Walker
Building at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
(“Walker”). He has filed a complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Commissioner Scott Semple
(“Commissioner Semple”), Deputy Commissioner
Monica Rinaldi (“Deputy Commissioner Rinaldi”),
Director of Security Antonio Santiago (“Director
Santiago”), Director of Psychology Services Thomas
Kocienda (“Director Kocienda”), District
Administrator Edward Maldenado (“District Administrator
Maldenado”), District Administrator Angel Quiros
(“District Administrator Quiros”), Warden Nick
Rodriguez (“Warden Rodriguez”), Warden William
Mulligan (“Warden Mulligan”), Warden Stephen
Faucher (“Warden Faucher”), Deputy Warden of
Programs and Treatment Derrick Molden (“Deputy Warden
Molden”), Director of Offender Classification Dave
Maiga (“Director Maiga”), Counselor Supervisor of
Population Management Tugie (“Counselor Supervisor
Tugie”), Deputy Warden Roach, Unit Manager for Security
Risk Groups Stanley (“Unit Manager Stanley”), and
Security Risk Group Manager Jon Aldi (“Security Risk
Group Manager Aldi”).
plaintiff alleges that the defendants violated his Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights during his confinement in the
security risk group program at Walker and Corrigan
Correctional Institution (“Corrigan”) during the
period from July 31, 2018 to October 17, 2018. For the
reasons set forth below, the court will dismiss the complaint
Standard of Review
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the court must review prisoner
civil complaints against governmental actors and
“dismiss ... any portion of [a] complaint [that] is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, ” or that “seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” Id. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A
claim has facial plausibility when a plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A
complaint that includes only “‘labels and
conclusions,' ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action' or ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement, '” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts still have an obligation to interpret
“a pro se complaint liberally, ” the
complaint must include sufficient factual allegations to meet
the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
plaintiff states that he has been diagnosed as suffering from
“multiple psychological disabilit[ies] and traits as
well as abnormal brain structure and function.”
See Compl., at 6 ¶ 26. He has been confined
within the Connecticut Department of Correction since July
2005. See Id. ¶ 25. In 2007, prison officials
placed him on restrictive housing status. See Id.
¶ 27. Prior to July 31, 2018, the plaintiff was confined
at Northern Correctional Institution (“Northern”)
on special needs management status. See Id. ¶
2009, the plaintiff received a disciplinary report charging
him with being a member of a security risk group called the
Bloods. See Id. ¶ 31. The plaintiff contends
that he did not meet the requirements for designation as a
security risk group member. See Id. ¶ 32.
“[F]or safety reasons, [the plaintiff] had to inform
DOC that he wasn't a member of the Bloods, but was
associated with the Latin Kings security risk group.”
See Id. at 7 ¶ 33. After finding the plaintiff
guilty of the disciplinary charge of security risk group
affiliation, prison officials designated the plaintiff as a
security risk group member. See Id. at 5-6
¶¶ 32, 34.
officials have never reviewed the plaintiff's status as a
security risk group member to determine whether he should
remain a security risk group member. See Id. at 6
¶¶ 34-36. The plaintiff contends that he has not
been engaged in security risk group activity since 2011 and
has been disciplinary report free for a long time. See
Id. ¶ 36. In 2014, the plaintiff informed
correctional staff that he was no longer associated with any
gang. See id.
31, 2018, prison officials at Northern transferred the
plaintiff to Walker based on his designation as a security
risk group member in 2009. See Id. at 6 ¶ 30.
The plaintiff contends that he was no longer a member of a
security risk group at the time of his transfer and had
exhibited no security risk group behavior or threatening
behavior since 2011. See Id. at 8 ¶¶ 38,
plaintiff remained at Walker in the security risk group
program from July 31, 2018 to October 5, 2018. See
Id. at 13 ¶¶ 68-69. The conditions in the
security risk group program were more restrictive than the
conditions that the plaintiff had experienced during his
confinement on special needs management status at Northern.
See Id. at 9-12 ¶¶ 43-59, 63. In addition
to the restrictions on various privileges, the plaintiff
claims that the ventilation system had not been cleaned and
he was forced to breathe filthy air. See Id. at 12
¶ 62. The cleaning supplies available to the plaintiff
were inadequate and there was no hot water in the sink in the
plaintiff's cell. See Id. at 12-13 ¶¶
62, 67. There was no law library and he had no opportunity to
exchange his dirty sheets and jumpsuit for clean sheets and a
clean jumpsuit. See Id. at 12 ¶¶ 61, 64.
There was insufficient staffing to meet the mental health
needs of inmates in the program and the mental health
treatment offered to inmates was inadequate. See Id.
¶ 65. There was no fire safety plan for the inmates in
the plaintiff's housing unit. See Id. ¶ 60.
The plaintiff was required to eat his meals in his cell.
See Id. at 13 ¶ 66. The plaintiff refused to
eat most of his meals because the different foods on his tray
were often mixed with each other by the time the officer
delivered the tray to him. See id.
October 4, 2018, Security Risk Group Manager Aldi and Unit
Manager Stanley informed the plaintiff that his confinement
in the security risk group program from July 31, 2018 to
October 4, 2018 would not count towards his
“programming progression.” See Id.
¶ 68. On October 5, 2018, prison officials at Walker
transferred the plaintiff to Corrigan. See Id.
Corrigan, the plaintiff suffered a “mental health
breakdown” and submitted a request to be transferred to
another facility. See Id. ¶ 70. On October 15,
2018, Security Risk Group Manager Aldi, Warden Faucher,
Deputy Warden Molden, and Director Santiago met with the
plaintiff to discuss how to manage him. See Id.
¶ 71. The plaintiff explained that he did not feel safe
and was mentally unstable. See Id. He requested to
be transferred to a different facility. See Id.
Security Risk Group Manager Aldi, Warden Faucher, Deputy
Warden Molden, and Director Santiago informed the plaintiff
that he would be transferred back to Walker. See Id.
They also stated that prison officials would transfer the
plaintiff back to Corrigan at a later date and warned the
plaintiff that any refusal to be transferred back would
result in disciplinary measures. See id.
plaintiff remained in the administrative segregation unit at
Corrigan for a total of twelve days. See Id. at 14
¶¶ 72-73. On October 17, 2018, prison officials at
Corrigan transferred the plaintiff back to Walker. See
Id. at 14 ¶ 73.
plaintiff's placement in the security risk group program
at Walker exacerbated his mental health conditions. See
Id. In response to the deterioration of the
plaintiff's mental health, prison officials raised the
plaintiff's mental health needs score and placed the
plaintiff on behavior observation status when he expressed
thoughts of suicide. See Id. Mental health providers
have prescribed mood stabilizers and medication for the
plaintiff's symptoms of depression and anxiety. See
plaintiff alleges that Deputy Commissioner Rinaldi, Directors
Santiago, Kocienda, and Maiga, District Administrators
Maldenado and Quiros, Wardens Rodriguez and Mulligan, Deputy
Warden Molden, and Counselor Supervisor Tugie failed to
provide him with meaningful reviews of his special needs
management status and his security risk group member status
in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights.
He claims that Commissioner Semple, Security Risk Group
Manager Aldi, Director Santiago, and Deputy Commissioner
Rinaldi treated him differently than other similarly situated
inmates who had been removed as Security Risk Group members
in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment equal protection
rights. He contends that Commissioner Semple, Deputy
Commissioner Rinaldi, Directors Santiago, Kocienda, and
Maiga, District Administrators Maldenado and Quiros, Wardens
Rodriguez and Mulligan, Deputy Warden Molden, Counselor
Supervisor Tugie, Deputy Warden Roach, and Unit Manager
Stanley subjected him to deprivations of basic human needs
and life's necessities during his confinement at Walker