Overview of Offender Lawsuits in Corrections

Overview of Offender Lawsuits in Corrections 

Inmates in correctional facilities file thousands of lawsuits each year. These lawsuits can be financially, emotionally, and professionally damaging to correctional agencies and their staff. This course will provide corrections officers working in adult jails and prisons an overview of the types of lawsuits offenders commonly file against correctional agencies and personnel and the types of damages that can be awarded if they are successful.



Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

American Jail Association Certification


This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 1.50 STC credit hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-OOLC
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 3/31/2024
Learning Objectives:
List the 4 common types of offender lawsuits.
Differentiate between intentional and negligent torts.
Discuss the 3 types of damages that can be awarded in tort suits.
List 2 criteria that must be met and the standard of proof in civil rights action lawsuits.
Explain the purpose of offender lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act and under a writ of habeas corpus.

Section 1: Introduction

A. About This Course

B. Learning Objectives

Section 2: Offender Lawsuits

A. Meet Inmate Smith

B. Offender Lawsuits

C. Pro Se Lawsuit

D. Class Action Lawsuit

E. Types of Offender Lawsuits

F. Review

G. Summary

Section 3: Torts

A. Torts Defined

B. Types of Torts

C. Types of Damages in Tort Lawsuits

D. Review

E. Summary

Section 4: Civil Rights Actions

A. Civil Rights Actions

B. Damages in Civil Rights Cases

C. Limitation of Civil Rights Actions

D. Standard of Proof: Deliberate Indifference

E. Review

F. Summary

Section 5: Americans with Disabilities Act

A. Overview of Americans with Disabilities Act

B. Damages in ADA Cases

C. Summary

Section 6. Habeas Corpus Suits

A. Habeas Corpus Defined

B. Damages in Habeas Corpus Suits

C. Exhaustion Rule

D. Summary

Section 7:  Conclusion

A. Summary

B. Course Contributors

C. References

D. Congratulations!

E. Exam

F. BrainSparks

Expert Reviewer: Linda L. Bryant, J.D., Sworn Jail Officer
Linda L. Bryant, J.D. is veteran public safety official and legal expert. She served as the Deputy Attorney General for Virginia for Criminal Justice and Public Safety where she supervised a team of over 80 attorneys who represented the state's public safety agencies in state and federal courts. She and her team provided legal advice on public safety matters and policy development to the Governor of Virginia, the Secretary of Public Safety, all public safety agencies and the state legislature. Her duties also included providing legal advice to and overseeing all litigation against the state Department of Corrections. She also served for nearly 18 years as a state prosecutor, where she prosecuted thousands of cases focusing her efforts on violent crime, serving as lead trial attorney on over 40 murder cases. During that time she also taught as an Adjunct Professor at the College of William and Mary law school. She also served on the Working Group that developed the "21st Century Principles of Prosecution, Peace Officer Use of Force Project" for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Ms. Bryant is currently the Assistant Superintendent and Compliance Attorney at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, a jail with an average daily population of approximately 1100 inmates. The jail houses special needs inmates to include those with serious medical and mental health concerns. Disclosure: Linda L. Bryant, J.D., Sworn Jail Officer has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS
Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky. Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
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All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
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