Appeals Court rules former DOC employee can marry inmate

Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Court of Appeals has reversed a ruling that prevented a former Indiana Department of Corrections worker to marry an inmate.

The American Civil Liberties Union brought the case on behalf of Rebecca Riker, former employee of an Indiana Department of Corrections at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle. The decision was made on Friday.

Her application to marry an inmate was initially denied by the Department of Corrections. Last September, the district court ruled in favor of the DOC, and said the marriage present a “legitimate security risk.”

“The prohibition of Ms. Riker’s marriage was not rationally related to legitimate penological ends and violated our client’s constitutional rights,” said Gavin M. Rose, ACLU attorney, in a statement. “We are happy with this ruling,”

In the decision, the Court cited a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In that case, the court ruled that a Missouri prison regulation that restricted inmates from marrying without permission violated constitutional protections of due process.

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