Lacy v. Butts, 922 F.3d 371 (7th Cir. 2019)
Nature of Case: Plaintiff brought a § 2254 habeas corpus petition challenging the constitutionality of Indiana’s Sex Offender Management and Monitoring program (INSOMM). INSOMM required that people who were incarcerated for a sex offense participate in programming that required, iter alia, disclosure of all past acts of sexual violence or abuse (regardless of whether the individual had ever been charged).
Failure of individuals to satisfactorily participate in the INSOMM program constuted a disciplinary violation, and penalties included the denial of good-time credits towards their sentence which they would otherwise be entitled to.
Plaintiff brought the claim on their own behalf as well as other individuals who were similarly situated and who had been penalized for failing to adequately participate in the INSOMM program. The complaint alleged that INSOMM violated the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution in that it compelled participants to incriminate themselves.
The trial court agreed, ordered that all lost good-time credits be restored, and vacated all disciplnary actions for failure to participate in INSOMM. State of Indiana appealed.
Holding: Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. INSOMM violates the Fifth Amendment in that it compels incriminating disclosures by program participants, and failure to make those disclosures is penalized. Penalties lengthening the duration of confinement were sufficient to implicate the Fifth Amendment, and those penalties cannot be imposed automatically on the basis that individuals are seeking to exercise their Fifth Amendment rights without violating the Constitution.
News and Related Materials
- The Indiana Lawyer – 7th Circuit rules DOC sex offender program violates Constitution