Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Butler v. Turco

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Worcester

March 30, 2018

BRIAN BUTLER
v.
THOMAS A. TURCO & others [1] (and a companion case[2]).

         Worcester, Suffolk.

          Heard: February 5, 2018.

          Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 5, 2016. A motion to dismiss was heard by David Ricciardone, J. Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 13, 2015.

         A motion to dismiss was heard by Paul D. Wilson, J.

          Brian Butler, pro se.

          Owen McCants, pro se.

          Sheryl F. Grant for the defendants.

          MEADE, J.

         The plaintiffs, Brian Butler and Owen McCants, inmates supervised by the Massachusetts Department of Correction (department) and housed at MCI-Norfolk, each brought actions pro se challenging the consequences imposed on them pursuant to the department's "Program Engagement Strategy" (PES). The defendants filed motions to dismiss both complaints, which were allowed by two different judges. The plaintiffs appeal, alleging what we construe to be[3] various constitutional infirmities in the PES program. We consolidated the cases for hearing in this court, and now affirm.

         Background.

         PES program.

         In accordance with its mission to "promote public safety by managing offenders, " the department established "appropriate programming in preparation for [inmates'] successful reentry into the community, " such as the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP). However, the department is unable to mandate participation in such programs. As a result, by 2012, a high percentage of offenders declined to attend recommended programs, spending their time in ways that did not address "the very issues that [would] decrease the likelihood that they recidivate."[4] Nevertheless, these inmates enjoyed the same privileges as "program compliant" offenders, such as single rooms, housing seniority, and institutional jobs. In response, in December of 2013, the department announced it would implement PES, an incentivization structure for program participation.[5] Under PES, privileges are awarded as incentives for inmates who voluntarily participate in programs and are withdrawn from inmates who refuse. The department notified inmates about PES by amending its institutional procedures, hosting informational sessions for inmates, and creating informational flyers. PES went into effect on January 1, 2014.

         Butler.

         Butler was convicted in 1993 of aggravated rape, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and kidnapping. He was sentenced to twenty-five to thirty years for the aggravated rape and to concurrent eight to ten year terms on the remaining convictions. This court affirmed Butler's convictions and the Supreme Judicial Court denied further appellate review.[6]

         Butler was, at all relevant times, an inmate at MCI-Norfolk. He became eligible to participate in SOTP classes, and the department recommended that he do so. In May of 2015, Butler was informed that his failure to attend SOTP classes would result in the imposition of PES consequences. Butler began attending a "preliminary" SOTP phase, but in September of 2015, he refused to participate further. Consequently, in accordance with PES protocol, he lost his seniority with respect to housing. On October 1, 2015, he was reassigned from the single room he had occupied for nineteen years to a double room, and his seniority date was changed to September 24, 2015.

         McCants. McCants was convicted of rape of a child by force, kidnapping, assault with intent to rape, drugging for sexual intercourse, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Commonwealth v. McCants, 83 Mass.App.Ct. 1129 (2013). He was separately convicted of being an habitual offender. This court affirmed McCants's convictions and the Supreme Judicial Court denied further appellate review.[7] He later filed a motion for new trial, which was denied. This court affirmed that denial.[8]

         McCants was, at all relevant times, an inmate at MCI-Norfolk. The department recommended that McCants participate in SOTP classes. In February, 2014, McCants refused to attend the classes and subsequently lost his single cell housing assignment, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.