including the lack of evidence that AIDS is being spread in double cells and evidence that careful consideration is given to those inmates who are severely debilitated from AIDS prior to housing them in a double cell, plaintiffs have not demonstrated an Eighth Amendment violation.
222. Plaintiffs' due process claim lacks merit. The Due Process Clause creates no liberty interest in inmates' being free from double-celling. In Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 542, 99 S. Ct. 1861, 1875, 60 L. Ed. 2d 447 (1978), in the context of pretrial detainees, the Supreme Court explicitly rejected the notion "that there is some sort of 'one man, one cell' principle lurking in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment."
223. In Sandin v. Conner, the Supreme Court recognized that states may create protected liberty interests in the freedom from restraint that "imposes [an] atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life." 115 S. Ct. at 2300.
224. Thus, in order to establish a liberty interest implicating the due process clause, plaintiffs must show that they suffered an atypical and significant deprivation and that the State has granted its inmates, by regulation or by statute, a protected liberty interest. Frazier v. Coughlin, 81 F.3d 313, 317 (2d Cir. 1996). In this case, the evidence demonstrates that neither is true.
225. The evidence at trial established that double-celling was not atypical in 1995 when Woodbourne began housing inmates in double cells. Most state prison systems and the federal prisons had double-celling. D-82 at 4; Tr. 1248 (Martin); Tr. 1816-17 (Quinlan).
226. The evidence at trial did not demonstrate that double-celling at Woodbourne was a significant deprivation for the inmates or that it had any significant effect on any of the "ordinary incidents of prison life." After double-celling was implemented, inmates had the same access to extensive programs and services. There was no evidence of "overcrowding" in the sense that the facility had to compromise its services in order to handle the additional number of inmates.
227. New York has not created a liberty interest in single cell housing. This Court does not find that a liberty interest in single housing was created by implication merely from the fact that prior to 1995 no New York prison facility had implemented double-celling.
228. As set forth above, this Court finds that plaintiffs are entitled to neither injunctive relief against defendants, nor monetary damages against defendant Coombe, nor declaratory relief. Accordingly, judgment should be entered in defendants' favor.
Date: New York, New York
January 23, 1998
Sidney H. Stein, U.S.D.J.