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June 27, 2022

Civil Rights violations alleged in Federal lawsuit against Edgar County Jail, City of Paris –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 3, 2020

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –

Daniel Lee Robinson has filed a Federal lawsuit alleging violations of his First, Sixth, Fourteenth Amendment civil rights.

Redwood Law Office is the firm representing Robinson, and they encourage inmates and former inmates to send written complaints about their experiences with the jailing system in Edgar County, along with their name, address, and phone number, to Redwood Law Office, PO Box 864, St. Joseph IL 61873.

One part of this suit alleges that the Sheriff’s Department instructed an inmate not to tell other inmates that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

The main allegations in the suit are that the Plaintiff was not given access to appropriate medical help, was refused his medication when he could not pay for it, held in a 10 x 10-foot cell for 21 days with no bed or floor mattress, refused access to his psychiatrist, refused access to a doctor when he was bleeding from his penis, dirty cell and refused cleaning supplies, improper segregation of COVID-19 positive inmates, no recreation at all, cracked glass window in an isolation cell, inadequate heating and cooling.

The Sheriff, a Deputy, and a Paris Police Officer are sued in their individual capacities (not in their official capacities), and the County and City of Paris are also named Defendants.

According to the Federal lawsuit, some of the allegations are as follows:

  • On July 16, 2020, Plaintiff was taken to court for arraignment on the felony charge of Failure to Report to Penal Institution, without first being evaluated by a qualified mental health professional or being provided the prescription medications designed to control mania, hyperactivity and maintain mental balance; he became irrational and angry; he verbally expressed his frustrations and kicked a free-standing podium at which time he was violently taken to the floor and shackled by two officers, Defendant Willaman and Defendant Lewsader, thereby incurring injuries to his back and his neck.
  • Plaintiff has never been taken to a doctor for the back and neck pain incurred on July 16, 2020, despite repeated requests to be taken and despite written grievances; he remains in custody at the Edgar County Jail
  • From July 15, 2020, to November 20, 2020, Plaintiff has not been allowed any recreational time outside of his cell, despite written grievances requesting recreational time
  • From approximately October 27, 2020, to November 17, 2020, or longer, Plaintiff was held in a 10’ x 10’ isolation cell with no bed or floor mattress, furnished only with a jail toilet/sink that has a problem flushing
  • From October 29, 2020, to November 17, 2020, Plaintiff was denied paper so he was not allowed to write grievances about the conditions of his pretrial confinement or to write letters to his attorney, his minister, or anyone
  • On two separate occasions, while Plaintiff was removed from his isolation cell for something, he returned to discover that all of his court papers, medical papers and all his confidential letters from his lawyer had been confiscated and he was not told why or how to get his papers back, which caused extreme mental distress, anger, mania, paranoia, and disorientation
  • By September 15, 2020, Plaintiff had not been taken to talk with his psychiatrist via telepsych and he was not getting the medications prescribed by the doctors at Regional Hospital
  • On or about September 16, 2020, Plaintiff began bleeding from his penis and he requested to be taken to a doctor but was not taken to a doctor
  • Beginning October 1, 2020, Plaintiff filed numerous grievances because his request to see a doctor about the bleeding from his penis was ignored.
  • By September 17, 2020, Plaintiff had not yet been allowed to speak, by telephone from the jail, with a mental health counselor at LifeLinks, had not been given his psychiatric medications and he reported feeling suicidal and homicidal; he was later allowed to speak with a LifeLinks counselor, by telephone, on September 21, 2020.
  • For approximately one month, Defendants Jeff Wood and Jay Willaman refused to pay for Plaintiff’s ADHD medication, Straterra, stating in response to numerous grievances filed by Plaintiff to obtain the Straterra, that Plaintiff’s [Medicaid] insurance is the “hold up”, “we are not paying for your meds “, “this is the way the jail is” and “when your insurance company takes care of it you will get your meds”.  Without having the Straterra, and because his medical and legal paperwork was confiscated, Plaintiff became suicidal, manic, paranoid, was unable to control his behavior, and acted out at the jail, incurring additional felony charges on October 30, 2020, and November 4, 2020
  • On or about October 5, 2020, the Edgar County Public Health Department recorded that four inmates of the Edgar County Jail were confirmed positive for COVID-19 by a lab-confirmed test
  • Inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 were not properly segregated from other inmates and at least one inmate was told by jail staff not to tell the other inmates that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Despite requesting cleaning supplies, Plaintiff was denied supplies to clean and sanitize his cell, which concerned him because of COVID-19. The corrections officers do not clean and sanitize the cells and the common areas, pursuant to the Illinois Department of Public Health standards
  • Plaintiff to the following inhumane conditions while confined at the Edgar County Jail:
    • inadequate heat and/or cooling;
    • no bed or floor mattress for over 21 days
    • no out-of-cell recreation at all
    • cracked, non-tamper-proof glass window in the isolation cell used to house Plaintiff, a known suicide risk and mentally impaired inmate
    • filthy cells and failure to provide cleaning and sanitizing supplies
    • exposure to COVID-19 due to lack of segregation of infected inmates

Read the complete Complaint and Exhibits below (or here):

COMPLAINT WITH EXHIBITS A B C

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3 Comments
  • Ang
    Posted at 19:49h, 07 December

    Police departments in IL have been pretty much steeped in scandals for a long time (see links). Why is any of this news about police or prison misconduct even surprising?

    Just look: extortion, malicious prosecution, fusion center spying, tasering diabetics in the middle of a seizure. It’s a total scandal. Thumbs up to the watchdogs trying to clean up IL government in general with the “sunlight as the best disinfectant” approach (by doing the blog).

    https://reason.com/2009/12/30/dont-tase-me-when-im-having-a/

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1998-05-14-9805140240-story.html

    https://mobile.rblandmark.com/News/Articles/10-18-2016/Brookfield-pays-$95,000-to-settle-suit-against-police/

    https://mobile.rblandmark.com/News/Articles/12-22-2015/Brookfield-police-face-federal-lawsuit/

    https://www.aclu-il.org/en/publications/fusion-centers-illinois

    Good read is “Battlefield America: The War on the American People” by John W. Whitehead, by the way.

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/battlefield_america_the_war_on_the_american_people

    And as for the good cops, we have sheriffs refusing to enforce lockdowns in California (nice to see!)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=emb_title&v=PvvRme0h2oY

    Just some good news to balance the discourse.

  • David Hunt
    Posted at 04:27h, 08 December

    I was doing weekends and wife in hospital and I had a phone on me was charged for it but I called and asked if I could not come in and make up that weekend and Alician called administer said no would be changed if not come in so I was informed the next morning she passed away and Alician called administer again told him she asked if could release me making it up later she came back said he said didn’t care if she passed away don’t let me out and a few weeks later we got into a agreement and when I came back from court the men in cell block was going to jump me was told a inmate that administrator had told cell block if anyone beat me would pay cash still trying to send me to prison and lawyer said I had no case if plead guilty would get minim if go to jury probably max she I no case would not call anyone said don’t matter I have no case

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 21:33h, 09 December

    How many complaints have to be filed and how many law suits have to be lost because this good old boy sheriff of ours is clueless?
    Jeff’s a nice guy…but… the job is way beyond his abilities.. Don’t believe me? Check out his budget overspending since he was elected and add into the mix stuff like this.
    Then there is, his association with known fire bombing suspect, Chris Patrick and violating FAA prisoner transportation regulations when picking up “a.” pizza bandit with Chris Patrick. There now is, the unexplained loss of records in the Sheriff’s office in that very firebombing case in which Chris Patrick is a suspect. Now add more stuff like this to his legacy.,

    When locals only vote for the local boy because the know him and grew up with him and not based on his credentials, training or education….. it’s called local inbreeding with consequences.

$