United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Fayetteville Division
ADAM R. LACKEY PLAINTIFF
SHERIFF KELLEY CRADDUCK; LIEUTENANT J. MARTINEZ; SERGEANT LARA; SERGEANT MONDAY; and SERGEANT T. SHARP DEFENDANTS
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
ERIN L. WIEDEMANN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds pro se and in
is currently incarcerated in the East Arkansas Regional Unit
of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC). The events
that are the subject of this action occurred while Plaintiff
was incarcerated in the Benton County Detention Center
case is before the Court on the Motion for Summary Judgment
(ECF No. 32) filed by the Defendants. On June 8, 2017, a
hearing was held to allow Plaintiff to testify in response to
the Motion. Plaintiff appeared by video conference from the
ADC. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Motion was taken
under advisement pending preparation of this report and
was booked into the BCDC on May 13, 2014, on a charge of
sexual assault. ECF No. 34-2 at 1. He was classified as a sex
offender. Id. Sex offenders were housed separately
for their protection. ECF No. 34-6 at 16. Sex offenders were
housed in E-104 or E-107. Id. at 15.
testified at the hearing that he had been at the BCDC for
several months before he learned about the General
Equivalency Degree (GED) program. Defendants submitted an
affidavit from Lieutenant Robin explaining that from 2014
through early 2016, Lieutenant Jesus Martinez was the liaison
for certain volunteer programs including the GED program. ECF
No. 34-1 at 2. The GED program was offered as a result of
volunteers from the local community college, NorthWest
Arkansas Community College (NWACC). Id. The
volunteers set the time and date of the classes and the class
size. Id. Generally, classes were limited to ten
inmates. Id. The materials were donated.
Id. The classes were "sporadically offered
based on the availability and willingness of the
volunteers." From the Fall of 2015 through at least
November of 2016, "no GED classes were offered because
there were no volunteers to provide the classes."
Id. An inmate stayed in the GED class until he felt
ready to take the test. ECF No. 34-1 at 3. The volunteers
administered the test.Id. Once an inmate passed the
test, he was moved out of the class and another inmate moved
did not decide who was in the class except to the extent that
a particular class member would not be allowed if his/her
presence was a safety risk for other members of the class or
for him/herself. For example, an individual being held in
protective custody would not be placed in the class because
of the security risk to that person. All sex offenders are
held in protective custody.
ECF No. 34-1 at 2. This concept was applied to "any
volunteer offerings . . . where the volunteer would be in a
setting with multiple detainees at once." Id.
The volunteer was free to meet with an individual but that
was up to the volunteer to make a commitment for individual
offerings. Id. at 3.
testified that beginning in July of 2014, he asked to join
the GED program. Jail records show that on July 24, 2014,
Plaintiff asked if it was true you could get your GED while
at the BCDC. ECF No. 34-3 at 1. Sergeant Sharp responded:
"you can attend classes yes." Id.
25, 2014, Plaintiff requested a GED book to study for class.
ECF No. 34-3 at 2.
Sharp responded that Plaintiff would need to ask the teacher
at his next class. Id.
30, 2014, Plaintiff requested schedule and enrollment
information for the GED program. ECF No. 34-3 at 4. He was
told to resubmit the request to Lieutenant Martinez.
Id. Plaintiff did so the next day. Id. at
5. In response, Lieutenant Martinez indicated the program
would start again in three weeks. Id.
August 10, 2014, Plaintiff stated he would like to enroll in
the GED class and asked how to do that. ECF No. 34-3 at 6. In
response, Sergeant Lara stated Plaintiff would be put on the
testified he left it at this, thinking that he would be told
when the next enrollment was. After about a month, Plaintiff
inquired again. He was told it was too late to enroll in the
current program and that he would be put on the list.
Plaintiff asked for a GED book and was told inmates did not
get the book until they were in the program.
August 25, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a request indicating he
was just checking on the GED classes. ECF No. 34-3 at 7. In
response, Sergeant Lara indicated she would talk to
Lieutenant Martinez. Id.
August 29, 2014, Plaintiff asked that he at least be provided
a GED book if he could not get into the GED classes. ECF No.
34-3 at 8. Sergeant Lara stated it was too late for the
current class but that Plaintiff was on the list for next
that same day, Plaintiff submitted the following request:
I understand that it is now to[o] late for the GED class. I
have been asking about the class for better than a month. I
was told on 8-2 that the class would start back in 3 weeks at
that point. Then I was told on 8-11 that I would be put on
the list. Now I[']m told it's to[o] late and I would
be put on the list for next time. I just would really
appreciate a GED book if there is any extra. I would really
like to use my time here to try and better myself rather than
just take up space.
Lara responded that Plaintiff was on the list for next time
but that the detention center did not control when the
September 11, 2014, Plaintiff asked when the next GED class
would begin. ECF No. 34-3 at 9. Sergeant Monday responded
that he was "not sure at this time." Id.
September 15, 2014, Plaintiff asked when the next GED class
started. ECF No. 34-3 at 10. He was told to send a request to
Lieutenant Martinez. Id.
September 20, 2014, Plaintiff asked how long it would be
until the next GED class. ECF No. 34-3 at 11. He also asked
for a GED book. Id. Plaintiff indicated he had been
checking the book cart but had no luck obtaining one.
Id. Sergeant Sharp responded: "ok."
September 25, 2014, Plaintiff stated he had submitted the
September 20, 2014 request to the attention of Lieutenant
Martinez. ECF No. 34-3 at 12. He pointed out that
Officer Sharp had answered "ok, " and Plaintiff
stated he did not know what this meant and he had not been
given any more information. Id. He asked for more
information. Id. Sergeant Monday responded saying
that Plaintiff would be considered for the GED class once one
started again. Id. Sergeant Monday also indicated
that the jail did not supply the GED books to inmates but
that Plaintiff could have someone bring him one. Id.
testified he also asked Deputy Wilkins if there was a GED
book on the book cart.
to Plaintiff, Deputy Wilkins told him to forget about it
because he was not going to get into the GED program because
he was a sex offender.
October 30, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a request asking about
the GED class. ECF No. 34-3 at 13. He was told to submit a
request to Lieutenant Martinez. Id.
October 31, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a request asking what
was "up with the GED classes?" ECF No. 34-3 at 14.
He was informed the request would be passed along to
Lieutenant Martinez. Id.
December 2, 2014, Plaintiff asked if the next GED class was
coming up soon. ECF No. 34-3 at 15. He stated he had asked
about the program for several months and would like an honest
answer. Id. In response, he was told that the
program would not start until after the first of the year.
testified that despite the GED class being offered several
times, he was never put into the class. In addition to being
in the sex offender pod, Plaintiff testified there were also
occasions during his stay at the BCDC when he was on suicide
watch and would have been unavailable to take the class. On