In October 2001, four offenders under the age of 18 housed in the Youthful Offender Program at Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington brought a class action suit in Washington state court, alleging that they were denied basic and special education services to which they were constitutionally ...
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In October 2001, four offenders under the age of 18 housed in the Youthful Offender Program at Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington brought a class action suit in Washington state court, alleging that they were denied basic and special education services to which they were constitutionally entitled. Plaintiffs cited the Washington Supreme Court case Tunstall v. Bergeson, 141 Wn.2d 201 (2000) [PC-WA-0018 of our collection], which held that youth under the age of 18 incarcerated in DOC institutions had a right to public education. Plaintiffs, represented by attorneys with the Columbia Legal Services Institutions Project, specifically alleged violations of the Washington State Constitution, §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 and 42 U.S.C. §1983. They sought injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as compensatory damages.
Our information on the procedural history of the case is limited to the Thurston Superior Court Docket, which contains only abbreviated descriptions of case activity. From what we can discern, it appears that the parties conducted discovery and engaged in motion practice for a little over a year before the case was resolved. During that time, the Superior Court certified the case as a class action and ruled on various motions. For reasons that are not readily apparent, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their special education claims.
The parties entered into a Settlement Agreement and Release, which was formally approved by the Superior Court (Judge Daniel J. Berschauer) in March, 2003. In the Agreement, the State agreed to provide specified educational services to youth offenders that were not in the general population, which included: offenders incarcerated in the Restricted Movement Pod (23 hour a day lock-down), those housed in the Intensive Management Unit and those placed on a Level One transition plan. Prior to the agreement, only offenders in general population had any real access to school services.
The case was dismissed on March 14, 2003 and we have no information that any further case activity occurred after that date.Dan Dalton - 09/14/2007