Property claims from inmates are a vexing challenge for the Oregon prison system, The Oregonian reports. Each year, inmates file about 1,000 claims that state officials — not other inmates — damaged or lost their property, or that their rights were violated when items were confiscated. An internal audit found the state pays an average of $60,000 a year for such claims, and spends more than that to process them.
Corrections officials are months behind in making changes recommended by the auditors, such as tightening limits and better tracking inmate property. Among inmate claims: one figured the state owed him for improperly confiscating 250 pages of porn from his cell. Officials cut him a check for $125. Another inmate insisted that corrections officers damaged his television when they searched his cell. The state paid him $260 — the cost of a new one.
A prisoner demanded that corrections officials replace sunglasses missing from his cell. A judge ordered that he be paid $215 — plus $3.29 in interest.