Skip navigation

Fiscal Yr 2002 Activities Under cripa.pdf

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
Fiscal Year 2002 Activities Under
Civil Rights of Institutionalized
Persons Act


Introduction and Overview
The Attorney General has authority to investigate conditions

in public residential facilities1 and to take appropriate action
if a pattern or practice of unlawful conditions deprive persons
confined in the facilities of their constitutional or federal
statutory rights, pursuant to the Civil Rights of
Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C.§§ 1997-1997j.


Protecting the rights of institutionalized persons is an
important part of the Department's civil rights law enforcement

As Assistant Attorney Ralph F. Boyd, Jr. stated, “CRIPA

investigations can literally address life and death issues in
nursing homes and juvenile facilities, and the population
protected by the statute is among society’s most vulnerable - the elderly, the mentally disabled, victims of abuse and
From May 1980, when CRIPA was enacted, through September
2002, the Department investigated conditions in 384 jails,


Institutions covered by CRIPA include nursing homes, mental health facilities,
mental retardation facilities, residential schools for children with disabilities, jails,
prisons, and juvenile correctional facilities.

CRIPA does not cover the federal statutory rights of persons in jails or prisons.


Statement of Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, before
the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, May 21, 2002.

prisons, juvenile correctional facilities, mental retardation and
mental health facilities, nursing homes and residential schools
for children with disabilities.

As a result of the Department's

CRIPA enforcement, thousands of persons residing in public
institutions across our country no longer live in dire, often
life-threatening, conditions.

Attorney General has delegated day-to-day

responsibility for CRIPA activities to the Special Litigation
Section of the Civil Rights Division.

At the end of the fiscal

year, the Section was active in CRIPA matters and cases involving
over 165 facilities4 in 33 states and the District of Columbia,
as well as the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern
Mariana Islands, and the Territories of Guam and the Virgin

The Section continued its investigations of 73

facilities, and monitored the implementation of consent decrees,
settlement agreements, memoranda of understanding, and court


This figure does not include the Section’s monitoring of 17 prisons or the community
system for persons with mental retardation in the District of Columbia which are the
subjects of pre-CRIPA suits.

Fiscal year 2002 began on October 1, 2001, and ended on September 30, 2002. This
report is submitted to Congress to supplement the Attorney General's report on Fiscal
Year 2002 Department activities by providing additional details about CRIPA actions
during the fiscal year pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997f.

orders involving 96 facilities.6

During the fiscal year, the

Section conducted more than 130 tours of facilities to evaluate
conditions and monitor compliance.

The Attorney General filed

three CRIPA suits involving a total of three facilities during
the fiscal year; each suit was settled during the fiscal year.
In addition, during fiscal year 2002, the Section closed 12
investigations of 14 facilities and joined with defendants to
dismiss four cases involving four facilities.

Ten other

covered by CRIPA settlements were closed voluntarily

by the jurisdictions.

The Section initiated investigations of 21

facilities, and sent three findings letters regarding
investigations of four facilities during the fiscal year.
Lastly, the Department consulted with local public officials and
provided technical assistance to assist in the correction of
deficient conditions.
In keeping with the statutory requirements of CRIPA and the
Attorney General’s initiative, the Section engaged in
negotiations and conciliation efforts to resolve a number of
CRIPA matters both before and after filing CRIPA cases.




In addition, the Section is monitoring compliance with court orders that cover persons
who previously resided in institutions, but who currently reside in community based
residential settings in Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, and

maximized its impact and increased its efficiency by continuing
to focus on multi-facility investigations and cases, obtaining
widespread relief whenever possible.

Filing of CRIPA Complaints/Resolution of Lawsuits and


Cases Filed

On April 15, 2002, we filed a complaint and

settlement agreement in United States v. State of Wyoming (D.
Wyo.), concerning Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlings,

The agreement requires defendants to correct

deficiencies in medical care, mental health care, supervision,
environmental health and safety, and fire safety.

The agreement

requires the State to provide additional medical and mental
health services; improve medication administration practices; and
increase correctional staff to supervise and operate the

In addition, the State agrees to improve fire safety

at the Penitentiary through better training of staff, more
frequent emergency evacuation drills, and appointment of a full
time Life Safety Officer to oversee the fire safety program and
monitor the readiness of fire detection and suppression

The Department will continue to monitor progress

toward full implementation of the agreement.



On April 22, 2002, the Department filed a complaint

and settlement agreement in United States v. Nassau County, New
York (E.D. N.Y.) concerning the Nassau County Correctional Center
in East Meadow, New York.

The agreement requires improvements to

medical and psychiatric care, including initial health and mental
health assessments, treatment for acute, emergency and chronic
health conditions, infection control, medication management and
crisis intervention, and inmate safety through improved use of
force policies and practices.

The agreement also requires that

all correctional staff receive 160 hours of pre-service training
on, inter alia, use of force and procedures for dealing with
persons with mental health concerns.

Finally, the agreement

requires improved investigations of use of force allegations and

The Department will continue to monitor progress

toward full implementation of the agreement.

On August 12, 2002, we filed a complaint and

settlement agreement in United States v. Shelby County, Tennessee
(W.D. Tenn.) regarding the Shelby County Jail in Memphis,

The settlement agreement addresses several areas in

which inmates are placed at risk of serious harm from identified
lapses in security practices.

Improved supervision of inmates,

revised use of force policies, staff training, and an improved
classification system are required by the agreement.

The County

also agreed to manage its population to prevent excessive
overcrowding, and take steps to identify and control inmates who
are members of organized gangs.

Lastly, the agreement requires

the County to augment its staff to ensure necessary and timely
medical and mental health care to inmates as well as to provide
improved fire safety practices.

The Department will continue to

monitor progress toward full implementation of the agreement.

Settlements in Cases Filed in Prior Fiscal Years

On December 10, 2001, a mediated settlement

agreement that addresses problems relating to community based
service providers for former residents of the Arlington
Developmental Center in Arlington, Tennessee was filed in United
States v. Tennessee (W.D. Tenn.).

The State is required by the

agreement to provide expanded staff training in community based
facilities, improve opportunities for employment of class
members, and implement revised individual service plans for the
treatment and care of class members in their community based

The agreement also requires development of a closure plan

for the Arlington facility to ensure appropriate planning for the
transition of the remaining residents.

In April and June, 2002,

the court held a fairness hearing regarding the agreement.


the fiscal year closed, the court had not yet decided whether to
approve the settlement.


On April 17, 2002, we filed a supplemental

agreement in United States v. Connecticut (D. Conn.) regarding
medical care and other clinical services provided to residents
with developmental disabilities at Southbury Training School in
Southbury, Connecticut.

The agreement requires State officials

to provide appropriate medical care, including neurological
consultations and genetic evaluations, when necessary.

We will

continue to monitor implementation of this agreement.

On June 7, 2002, we filed a stipulation in United

States v. Indiana (S.D. Ind.) that amends the State plan prepared
in conjunction with the original settlement.

The stipulation

requires improvements in clinical supervision and management of
services which include:

general medicine, dentistry, psychology,

psychiatry, nursing, and physical, speech, dietary and
occupational therapy.

The stipulation also requires design and

implementation of a risk assessment system for persons determined
to be at high risk for the following conditions:
aspiration/gastroesophageal reflux disease, dysphasia, choking,
seizures, dehydration, constipation, and injury from behavioral

Lastly, the State is required to provide expanded

transitional supports for residents leaving state developmental
centers and relocating to community based residential placements.



Out of Court Settlement Addressing Deficiencies

Identified by CRIPA Investigation
On March 20, 2002, the Department signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Bergen County Improvement Authority in
Paramus, New Jersey regarding conditions of care and treatment
provided to residents in the Long Term Care Division of Bergen
Regional Medical Center.
the following areas:

The agreement requires improvements in

identification and treatment of residents

at risk of developing pressure ulcers; fall and accident
prevention; hydration of residents; restorative care; personal
hygiene services; and developing and implementing individual care

The agreement also requires the nursing home to reduce

its use of restraints.

As part of the quarterly assessment, each

resident at the facility will be evaluated to determine whether
he or she is being served in the most integrated setting
appropriate to meet his or her individual needs.

The Department

will continue to monitor compliance with the terms of the


Compliance Evaluations
During fiscal year 2002, the Special Litigation Section

monitored defendants' compliance with CRIPA consent decrees,
settlement agreements, and court orders designed to remedy

unlawful conditions in publicly operated facilities throughout
the United States.7

These facilities are:

Mental retardation facilities:

Southbury Training

School (United States v. Connecticut (D. Conn.)); Embreeville
Center (United States v. Pennsylvania (E.D. Pa.));8 Arlington
Developmental Center (United States v. Tennessee (W.D. Tenn.));
Clover Bottom Developmental Center, Greene Valley Developmental
Center, and Harold Jordan Center (United States v. Tennessee
(M.D. Tenn.)); Southern Wisconsin Developmental Center and
Central Wisconsin Developmental Center (United States v.
Wisconsin (W.D. Wis.)); Centro de Servicios Multiples de
Camaseyes, Hogar de Grupo Las Mesas, Facilidad de Cuidado
Intermedio, Centro de Reeducacion para Adultos, and Centro de
Servicios Multiples Rosario Bellber (United States v.
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (D. P. R.)); and Ft. Wayne
Developmental Center and Muscatatuck Developmental Center (United
States v. Indiana (S.D. Ind.)).


As noted on page 2, supra, the Department joined with defendants to seek full or
partial dismissal of four cases covering four facilities; those facilities are not listed here,
but are discussed infra at page 10.

Embreeville Center closed during FY 1998 but, under the terms of the consent
decree, the Section continues to monitor conditions in community placements from the


Mental health facilities:

Hawaii State Hospital and

children and adolescent residential services at Castle Medical
Center and Kahi Mohala (United States v. Hawaii (D. Haw.)); Guam
Adult Mental Health Unit (United States v. Territory of Guam (D.
Guam)); Pilgrim Psychiatric Center (United States v. New York
(E.D. N.Y.)); Memphis Mental Health Institute (United States v.
Tennessee (W.D. Tenn.)).

Juvenile Correctional Facilities:

31 juvenile

correctional facilities in Georgia (United States v. State of
Georgia (N.D. Ga.)); Essex County Youth House (United States v.
Essex County (D. N. J.)); 15 juvenile correctional facilities in
Puerto Rico (United States v. Puerto Rico (D. P. R.)); Kagman
Youth Facility (United States v. Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands (D. N. Mar.I.)); and four juvenile correctional
facilities in Louisiana (United Stated v. Louisiana (M.D. La.)).


Hagatna Detention Center and Fibrebond Detention

Facility (United States v. Territory of Guam (D. Guam)); Tupelo
City Jail (United States v. Tupelo City (N.D. Miss.)); Forest
City Jail (United States v. Forest City (S.D. Miss.)); Harrison
County Jail (United States v. Harrison County (S.D. Miss.));
Simpson County Jail (Rainier and United States v. Jones (S.D.
Miss.)); Sunflower County Jail (United States v. Sunflower County
(S.D. Miss.)); Gila County Jail (United States v. Gila County,

Arizona (D. Ariz.)); four jails in the Northern Mariana Islands
(United States v. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
(D. N. Mar. I.)); Muscogee County Jail (United States v. Columbus
Consolidated City/County Government (M.D. Ga.)); Morgan County
Jail and Sheriff’s Department (United States v. Morgan County,
Tenn. (E.D. Tenn.)); and McCracken County Regional Jail (United
States v. McCracken County, Kentucky (W.D. Ky.)).

In addition,

we are monitoring compliance with the out-of-court voluntary
settlements regarding Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo, Iowa
and Tulsa County Jail in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Guam Adult Correctional Facility (United

States v. Territory of Guam (D. Guam)); Montana State Prison
(United States v. Montana (D. Mont.)); Golden Grove Adult
Correctional Institution (United States v. Virgin Islands (D.
V.I.)); and Saipan Prison Complex (United States v. Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands (D. N. Mar. I.)).

Other Facilities:

New Mexico School for the Visually

Handicapped (United States v. New Mexico (D. N. Mex.)).

Enforcement Activities
The Department took enforcement action in our CRIPA cases

during the fiscal year where state officials failed to meet their
legal obligations under consent decrees and other court orders in
CRIPA cases to improve conditions of confinement.

On February 19, 2002, the court in United States v. Hawaii (
D. Haw.) entered the Hawaii State Hospital Remedial Plan for
Compliance as an order.

This plan, developed by the Special

Master, a “summit” of mental health experts, and the parties,
addresses deficiencies which remained unresolved more than a
decade after the parties completed the first settlement

The 2002 Plan specifies actions which need to be

taken to build a system at Hawaii State Hospital which fosters
adequate patient care and achieves full compliance with
outstanding court orders.

These actions require Hawaii State

Hospital to ensure that patients receive sufficient and
appropriate care, treatment, supervision and safety; are
protected from physical and psychological harm; are restrained or
secluded only when clinically appropriate; and are continuously
evaluated for progress toward meeting discharge criteria.
will continue monitoring progress by Hawaii
complying with the Plan.


officials in

As plaintiff, we have been vigilant in

seeking effective remedies to achieve compliance in this case.

Prison Litigation Reform Act
The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3626,

which was enacted on April 26, 1996, covers prospective relief in
prisons, jails, and juvenile correctional facilities.


Department has defended the constitutionality of the PLRA and has

incorporated the PLRA’s requirements in the new remedies it seeks
regarding improvements in correctional facilities.

Termination of CRIPA Consent Decrees and Partial Dismissals

of Complaints
When jurisdictions comply with settlement agreements or
court orders and correct unlawful conditions in the institution,
the Department joins with defendants to dismiss the underlying

During fiscal year 2002, the Department joined with

defendants to seek dismissal of four cases covering four

On October 4, 2001, the court approved our motion to

dismiss United States v. Commonwealth of Virginia (E.D. Va.)
regarding Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia.


November 7, 2001, the court approved our motion to dismiss United
States v. City of Philadelphia (E.D. Pa.) regarding the
Philadelphia Nursing Home in Pennsylvania.

On November 27, 2001,

the court entered an order of dismissal in United States v.
Crittenden County, Arkansas (E.D. Ark.) regarding the Crittenden
County Jail in Marion, Arkansas.

On January 14, 2002, the court

dismissed United States v. Grenada County, Mississippi (N.D.
Miss.) regarding Grenada County Jail in Grenada, Mississippi.
In addition, jurisdictions voluntarily closed two juvenile
correctional facilities in United States v. State of Georgia
(N.D. Ga.) (Wrightsville Youth Development Center and Irwin Youth

Development Center), and eight juvenile correctional facilities
in United States v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (D. P.R.) (Hato
Rey Day Treatment Center, Ponce Day Treatment Center, CENA
Barbosa, CENA Canovanas, CENA Rio Grande, Escuela Industrial
Ponce, Hogar Crea Juana Diaz and Centro de Detention Hato Rey),
during the fiscal year.

Responsiveness to Allegations of Illegal Conditions
During fiscal year 2002, the Special Litigation Section

reviewed allegations of unlawful conditions of confinement in
public facilities from a number of sources, including individuals
who live at the facilities and their relatives, and former staff
of facilities, advocates, concerned citizens, media reports, and
referrals from within the Department and other federal agencies.
The Section received approximately 6,200 incoming citizen letters
and more than 500 telephone complaints during the fiscal year.
The majority of these citizen contacts related to CRIPA

In addition, the Division responded to over 140

CRIPA-related inquiries from Congress and the White House.
The Section prioritized these allegations by focusing on
facilities where allegations revealed systemic, serious

In particular, with regard to mental health and

mental retardation facilities and nursing homes, the Section
focused on allegations of abuse and neglect; adequacy of medical

and mental health care; use of restraints and seclusion; and
services to institutionalized persons in the most integrated
setting appropriate to meet their needs as required by Title II
of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its regulations, 42
U.S. C. §§ 12132 et seq.; 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d).

With regard to

juvenile correctional facilities, the Section focused on
allegations of abuse, adequacy of mental health and medical care,
and provision of adequate rehabilitation and education, including
special education services.

In jails and prisons, the Section

placed emphasis on allegations of abuse, sexual misconduct,
adequacy of medical care and psychiatric services, and grossly
unsanitary and other unsafe conditions.

New CRIPA Investigations
The Department initiated CRIPA investigations of 21

institutions during the fiscal year.

These new investigations

involved the following facilities:


Patrick County Jail, Virginia;


Nevada Youth Training Center, Nevada;


Mercer County Nursing Home, New Jersey;


Nim Henson Geriatric Center, Kentucky;


Reginald P. White Nursing Facility, Mississippi;


New Lisbon Developmental Center, New Jersey;


Santa Fe County Correctional Facility, New Mexico;


Metropolitan State Hospital, California;


Alexander Youth Services Center, Arkansas;


Mississippi Juvenile Facilities:

Oakley Training School;
Columbia Training School;


Arkansas Prisons: 

McPherson Correctional Facility; 

Grimes Correctional Facility;


Maxey Training School, Michigan;


Arizona Juvenile Facilities: 

Adobe Mountain School;

Black Canyon School; 

Catalina Mountain School;


Garfield County Jail, Oklahoma;


Maryland Juvenile Facilities: 

Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School;

Cheltenham Youth Facility; and


Claudette Box Nursing Facility, Alabama.

Findings Letters
The Department issued written findings of the results of its

investigations, pursuant to Section 4 of CRIPA, 42 U.S.C. §
1997b, regarding four facilities:


Woodward and Glenwood Resource Centers, Iowa;



Baltimore City Detention Center, Maryland; and


Wicomico County Detention Center, Maryland.

Investigation Closures
During the fiscal year, the Section closed investigations of

14 facilities:


Chicago-Read Mental Health Facility, Illinois;


Lauderdale County Jail, Mississippi;


Calhoun County Jail, Georgia;


South Dakota Juvenile Facilities9;
South Dakota State Training School;
South Dakota Juvenile Prison;


Daviess County, Kentucky Juvenile Facilities9;
E. Robert Goebel Secure Juvenile Detention

Louis Johnson Youth Alternative Center;


Whitten Developmental Center, South Carolina;


Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility, Michigan;


Clark County Detention Center, Nevada;


Dickens County Correctional Center, Texas;


Jackson County Correctional Center, Florida;


We closed the investigations of the identified facilities in South Dakota and Daviess
County, Kentucky because the facilities closed.




Easterling Correctional Facility, Alabama; and


Julia Tutweiler Correctional Facility, Alabama.

Technical Assistance
Where federal financial, technical, or other assistance is

available to help jurisdictions correct deficiencies, the
Department advises responsible public officials of the
availability of such aid and arranges for assistance, where

We also typically provide technical assistance

through expert consultants we retain.

We identify examples of

the technical assistance we provided during the fiscal year in
this section.

We provided technical assistance in the area of

mental health services by our expert consultants to Hawaii State
Hospital and Western State Hospital in Virginia.

Similarly, we

provided technical assistance through our expert consultants in
developing improved policies and procedures governing services to
persons with developmental disabilities at Fort Wayne and
Muscatatuck State Developmental Centers in Indiana, as well as
Glenwood and Woodward Resource Centers in Iowa.

In the Indiana

case, we also suggested that defendants contact University
Affiliated Facilities and nationally recognized experts to obtain
additional information on services and supports for residents of
their facilities.

As part of our investigation of Laguna Honda

Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in California, a nursing

facility, we responded to the City and County of San Francisco’s
request for information regarding federal assistance to provide
services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated
setting appropriate to their needs pursuant to Title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12131 et seq.


Division provided San Francisco with information about programs
and initiatives undertaken by the U.S. Departments of Health and
Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and

In our investigation of Bradley Healthcare and

Rehabilitation Center in Tennessee, another nursing facility, we
provided technical assistance by our expert consultants in
recommending strategies to address identified deficiencies in
care and treatment.

As part of our investigation of Alexander

Youth Services Center in Arkansas, we alerted officials to
federal financial assistance which may be available to them
through the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, we

provided Alexander officials with technical assistance by our
expert consultants in recommending specific actions to improve
conditions of confinement within this juvenile correctional

Our expert consultants provided assistance to

officials of the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in
Newark, New Jersey to address excessive use of isolation and

Similarly, we provided technical assistance by our

expert consultants to officials of Shelby County Jail in
Tennessee on use of force policies, protocols for identifying and
treating serious medical and mental health conditions, and
environmental health standards.

During compliance tours of

correctional facilities in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands,
we provided consultant services by experts in corrections,
sanitation, and safety regarding fire safety, sanitation, food
service, maintenance, security, and prevention of harm to

Our consultants also provided technical assistance to

officials at Jackson County Correctional Center in Fluvanna,
Florida and Nassau County Detention Center in East Meadow, New
York by reviewing medical policies and procedures.

In response

to a request from the New Mexico School for the Visually
Handicapped, Alamogordo, New Mexico, we provided an expert
consultant in braille and orientation and mobility for persons
with visual impairments to meet with staff and discuss
recommendations designed to bring the school into full compliance
with our agreement.