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Virgin Islands Prison Ordered Revamped After Ignoring Court's Warnings

U.S. District Court Judge Warren Young ordered change-at the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility (GGACF) in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. The court's original recommendation spurred by numerous complaints was ignored, leading to a persuasive Memorandum Opinion and accompanying order in 1976.

Prisoner Roy Barnes's complaint was one of many claiming violations of constitutional provisions for conditions and treatment at GGACF. Young appointed a panel of five citizens and prisoners (Panel) to prepare an investigative report which was ultimately adopted. Young's "strong recommendation" for the acting Warden and facility Captain was ignored spurring the Opinion and order. Young noted that although the separation of powers doctrine precluded his specific involvement, the constitutional infirmaries called for judicial intervention. The U.S. District Court for the District of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Croix, issued the order addressing the two official's removal, the implementation of rehabilitative and educational programs, medical and psychiatric needs, staff training, legal assistance, intake classification procedures, and physical and nutritional inadequacies. Young vowed to not sentence any further prisoners to the GGACF and to remove all prisoners within his power if the issues were not corrected as provided for in the order. See: Barnes v. Government of the Virgin Islands, 415 F. Supp. 1218, 13 V.I. 122 (1976).

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Related legal case

Barnes v. Government of the Virgin Islands