Harrison v. Helman

A nonsmoking prisoner who objected to having to share a cell with a smoker filed an action under 28 U.S.C. sec. 2241, requesting an order requiring the prison to insulate him more effectively from secondhand smoke.  The district court dismissed his claim.  The Court of Appeals affirmed, ruling that all Harrison could hope for using section 2241 would be prospective relief and that the district court believed he was not entitled to that relief because the prison already had a policy of separating nonsmokers from smokers.  The Court of Appeals concluded that the “policy is imperfectly enforced, and the ventilation system recirculates air from one portion of the prison to another, but the existence and general enforcement of the prison’s policy defeats the mental-state component of an eighth amendment claim.”

1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 5519 (U.S.C.A. 7th Cir. 1998).