Florida wants to shield officials in lawsuit accusing state of overusing solitary confinement in prisons

The lawsuit contends that the department has overused solitary confinement, including for inmates diagnosed with mental illnesses.

PHOTO VIA ADOBE IMAGES
PHOTO VIA ADOBE IMAGES
The state asked a federal judge Wednesday to shield Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon and former Secretary Julie Jones from testifying in a long-running lawsuit about the use of solitary confinement in the prison system.

Attorneys for the Department of Corrections filed a motion for a protective order to prevent depositions of Dixon, Jones and Thomas Reimers, the department’s health services director.

The lawsuit, filed in 2019, contends that the department has overused solitary confinement, including for inmates diagnosed with mental illnesses.

In the motion Wednesday, the department’s attorneys argued that Dixon, Jones and Reimers should not be forced to testify in depositions “unless and until plaintiffs have exhausted other discovery and can demonstrate that the agency heads are uniquely able to provide relevant information that cannot be obtained from other sources.”

Jones served as secretary from 2015 to 2019 and is now a deputy state chief financial officer.

“Plaintiffs have not and cannot demonstrate that these high ranking officials possess unique knowledge that cannot be gathered (or has not already been gathered) from less burdensome sources,” the motion said.
Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]