On February 25, 2008 a group of pre-trial detainees at Northumberland County Prison filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against the Northumberland County Prison and the Northumberland County Prison Board. Their cause of action was 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ...
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On February 25, 2008 a group of pre-trial detainees at Northumberland County Prison filed suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against the Northumberland County Prison and the Northumberland County Prison Board. Their cause of action was 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and they alleged violations of the First, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically they claim that there was inadequate medical care, dental care, and mental health care. They claimed that the facility was a life-threatening fire hazard, that there were chronic environmental problems, that the women's facility was overcrowded, that there was inadequate clothing provided, that there was no confidential space to meet with attorneys, that disciplinary and restraint procedures were unconstitutional, and that women were discriminated against in relation to outdoor exercise, work release, and other programs. They sought class certification, declaratory and injunctive relief, and attorney's fees and costs.
On June 11, 2008, the court (Judge John E. Jones III) denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification without prejudice. On March 17, 2009, the court (Judge Jones) disposed of three pending motions that had arisen during discovery. It granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss, granted the plaintiffs' motion to supplement the complaint, and granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs' motion to certify the class. The class consisted of all inmates of the Northumberland County Prison but some of the claims plaintiffs sought to have included were denied as proper claims for the class to raise.
On April 29, 2011, the court granted the parties' joint motion for a settlement agreement. The settlement stipulated that the prison would provide increased medical, dental, and mental health care. It also requires written policies and protocols relating to that care. Additionally, the settlement mandates changes to discipline and restraint practices, better conditions in the basement cells, improved heating and cooling units, extermination of pests, improved fire safety, limitations on the population in the women's dormitory, and changes to the policies in the women's dormitory concerning discipline and recreation. The court dismissed the action and retained jurisdiction for a period of 15 months after the entry of the settlement agreement. Michael Perry - 04/19/2011
Erin Chapman - 02/04/2015