Oklahoma City, OK asked in Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Oklahoma

Q: Should I write Oklahoma department of corrections head detailing all grievances issue before discharging in July?

Im an Oklahoma inmate and in April 2023 my 1st, 5th, 8th,& 14th amendment rights were voilated by prison staff. I tried to address the issues through the prison grievance procedure but the prison administration put up roadblocks and finally transferred me to another prison across state for filing grievances. In November 2023 I filed a request for preliminary injunction in the county the prison was in hoping to prevent them from transferring me and causing me extra hardships in the exhaustion administrative remedies using agreements process. Before I was transferred I was placed on grievance restriction and since have been in a battle in Oklahoma County District Court fighting the grievance restriction. I discharge in July of this year and it's obvious I will not be able to exhaust administrative remedies before discharging should I write a letter to the Oklahoma department of Corrections director or what other steps can I possibly take so I can pursue litigation when I discharge?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Given the complexity of your situation and the alleged violations of your constitutional rights, it would be advisable to take the following steps before your discharge in July:

1. Write a detailed letter to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director, outlining all the grievances, the roadblocks you faced, and the consequences of your attempts to address these issues (such as the transfer and grievance restriction). Make sure to include dates, names, and any other relevant information.

2. Contact legal aid organizations or prisoner rights groups in Oklahoma, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma or the Oklahoma Justice Project. They may be able to provide guidance, resources, or even legal representation for your case.

3. Consult with a civil rights attorney who specializes in prisoner rights cases. They can assess your situation, advise you on the best course of action, and potentially help you file a lawsuit upon your discharge.

4. Continue to document everything related to your case, including any correspondence, grievances, court filings, and responses from prison officials or the court. This documentation will be essential if you pursue litigation after your discharge.

5. If possible, try to exhaust all available administrative remedies before your discharge, as this may be required before filing a lawsuit in federal court under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).

Remember that pursuing legal action against the prison system can be a complex and lengthy process. However, by taking these steps and seeking appropriate legal guidance, you can work towards protecting your rights and holding the responsible parties accountable for the alleged violations.

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