Detainee Can Sue After Razor-Blade Cutbacks

     (CN) – A sexually violent predator may be able to sue a detention center over its policy to replace double-bladed razors with single blades, though the latter cause “extreme” bumping and scarring, a Florida appeals court ruled.
     The Florida Civil Commitment Center houses and treats sexually violent predators. It adopted the “razor harm reduction program” in 2008 to prevent detainees from harming themselves or others with double-bladed razors. The program swapped all the double-bladed razors with single-use, single-blades.
     One detainee, Alonzo Newsome, filed a grievance, claiming that the single-blade razors caused “extreme bumping, scarring, bleeding, cutting, [and] skin irritation on [his] face and scalp.” Administrators denied Newsome’s grievance.
     Three months later, the facility reinstated the policy that allowed detainees to use double-bladed razors, but Newsome sued the center, its administrators and a private company that manages the center for negligence.
     The defendants claimed they acted in good faith and were entitled to immunity. After a phone hearing, a Palm Beach County judge granted them their motion for judgment on the pleadings.
     After Newsome appealed, pro se, the Florida fourth district appeals court reversed. A three-judge panel said the trial court did not have enough evidence to determine that the defendants had instituted the razor policy in good faith.

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