Winton v. Pa. DOC

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court re-affirmed the holding that the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) does not provide a private right of action. Winton sought relief concerning the Department of Corrections’ handling of his allegations that another inmate sexually abused him. In joint Preliminary Objections, the Department and the Attorney General asserted that any determination the Department makes concerning an inmate’s PREA complaint is akin to the final decision in inmate grievance proceedings and, therefore, beyond the Court’s jurisdiction. The Court agreed, sustained the PO’s, and dismissed Winton’s petition. The Court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction because Winton’s allegations did not raise a viable constitutional challenge and PREA does not create a private cause of action.

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