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While the State offers an administrative process to address inmate grievances, inmates face a large uphill climb to seek redress. The disadvantage comes from an inability to meet the evidentiary standards required to be successful. In suit after suit, inmates are defeated because they can’t “prove” the required nexus between the cause of action and the individual state officer (governor, warden, officer/agent). For instance, inmates filing suit on their own or "pro se" cannot request video tapes, schedule depositions and interviews, or collect statements throughout the Department of Corrections or his institution.


Yet, this evidence is essential to establishing one's case. How can inmates overcome their burden of proof to prove the injustices they are suffering at the hands of the department? It's virtually impossible which is why internally filed grievances are often disregarded or ignored. Appeals are lost and attempts exhausted. Suits that finally reach the higher courts are quickly dismissed because the inmate filing it couldn't meet the minimal standards needed to substantiate their claims.


In essence, your voice is muted because the ones who control the process have hindered your ability to be heard. You and your grievances have simply been stamped "Dismissed."

Judge Gavel
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