On May 1, 2006, attorneys for the National Prison Project of the ACLU Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation Inc. filed a civil rights class action in the United States District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on behalf of female inmates incarcerated at Taycheedah Correctional Institution (TCI) in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Plaintiffs alleged that their conditions of confinement violated their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12132; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S .C. § 794. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged insufficient medical, mental health, and dental care; disparity in mental health treatment between male and female prisoners; and disability discrimination. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief and moved for immediate class certification.
Defendants denied the allegations, moved for summary judgment and requested that all discovery be stayed. The District Court (Chief Judge Rudolph T Randa) granted plaintiffs' motion to certify the case as a class action, with the class defined as: (1) the TCI Class consisting of all prisoners who are now or in the future will be confined at TCI; and (2) the ADA Subclass consisting of all individuals with disabilities who are now or in the future will be confined at TCI. The defendants' motion for summary judgment was denied and as was the request to stay discovery. Flynn v. Doyle, 2007 WL 805788, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22659 (E.D.Wis. Mar. 14, 2007). The Court then entered a scheduling order which governed discovery and various case deadlines.
On January 23, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which Judge Randa granted on April 24, 2009. Judge Randa ordered the defendants to make sure that all controlled medications at Taycheedah Correctional Institution (TCI) be distributed by trained medical personnel with credentials equal to or greater than those of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) as defined by Wis. Stat. § 441.10. The defendants shall ensure that LPNs distributing medications are trained in institution-specific and department-specific medication administration and documentation practices and protocols.
On November 24, 2009, Judge Randa granted the defendants' motion for partial summary judgment with respect to only the claims related to dental care, but denied the motion for partial summary judgment in all other respects.
On August 23, 2010, the parties reached a settlement agreement, which Judge Randa approved on December 2, 2010. With regard to medical care, the agreement required TCI to attain accreditation by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and to retain a jointly appointed paid consultant for a set period of time to make sure TCI continued to meet the medical care standards set in the agreement. The defendants were also required to hire a full-time physician board-certified in a primary care to serve as Associate Medical Director who would provide patient care and administration of clinical care at TCI for the duration of the agreement. The settlement also outlined the procedure to be followed if the consultant indicated that there was noncompliance with the agreement. With regard to mental health care, the agreement required Wisconsin Women's Resource Center to complete construction of and initiate services at planned annexes at TCI to provide space for out-of-cell therapeutic activities and group and individual therapy for prisoners with serious mental illnesses. With regard to access for prisoners with disabilities, the agreement required the defendants to provide interpreters and readers for prisoners with hearing and/or vision impairments, other accommodations for hearing impaired prisoners, and maintain paths, walkways, and thoroughfares between buildings to ensure access to core programs and services for prisoners with mobility disabilities. In addition, the defendants must permit prisoners with mobility disabilities to eat in the dining hall at the same time as their non-disabled peers and adhere to DAI Policy & Procedures for disciplining prisoners with hearing disabilities. The agreement allowed the plaintiffs to seek reasonable attorneys' fees for the work done through the date of the final approval of the agreement and for work done to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the agreement.
On December 14, 2010, Judge Randa ordered defendants to pay $950,000 in attorneys' fees. Kristen Sagar - 04/06/2009
Jessica Kincaid - 11/22/2013