Costs for Nevada inmate litigation

This was written by Nevada Prisoner Voice:

Fiscal Year 2008
(July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008)

The following is provided in response to your request for information regarding the costs paid by the state to defend inmate litigation.

Please note that the Office of the Attorney General does not track the costs of inmate litigation separately so the amounts reflected are the agency´s best estimate.

The information provided below is for Fiscal Year 2008 (July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008):

Total hours expended by Attorneys, Paralegals and Investigators 24,848.81 hours at average billable rate of $122 per hour $3,031,555

Total travel costs $ 32,744

Total Costs paid from Statutory Contingency Fund Pursuant to NRS 212.070 (claims that arise out of an action involving an Inmate confined within the Nevada Department of Corrections) $ 59,104

Inmate Tort/Property Claims paid from Nevada Department of Corrections for inmate claims under $500 $ 4,602

Inmate Tort/Property claims paid from the Attorney General Tort Claim Fund for inmate claims over $500 $ 210,016

Total: $3,338,021

There were 545 lawsuits in federal courts 19 Feb 2009. The bulk of the work for the federal court in Reno is from NV prison inmates at Ely State Prison.

407 == Ely State Prison
27 == Florence McClure Women’s Correctional
72 == High Desert State Prison
5 == Lovelock
11 == Nevada State Prison
16 == Northern Nevada Correctional Center and
7 == Southern Desert Correctional Center.

Professional standards accreditation that can prevent such lawsuits is overdue.
New leadership is needed that will embrace accreditation for all aspects of prison policy and operations.
This is not an expensive process compared to the current cost of litigation.

A federal public defender has stated that 90% of Nevada’s prison problems would disappear if Nevada prisons were accredited to professional standards, like schools and hospitals.

Why has leadership refused to implement accreditation?
Accreditation can save taxpayers millions in legal fees and benefit both prisoners and staff.