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Case Name Holland v. Donelon JC-LA-0024
Docket / Court Civ. No. 71-1442 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1971, plaintiff prisoners sued Jefferson County Parish in the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging violations of the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, and 14th amendment due process and equal protection rights.

In 1972, the district court (Rubin, J.) ... read more >
In 1971, plaintiff prisoners sued Jefferson County Parish in the Eastern District of Louisiana alleging violations of the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, and 14th amendment due process and equal protection rights.

In 1972, the district court (Rubin, J.) found that the housing facilities that were built for 110 were unconstitutionally housing 185 prisoners. Additionally, the mixing of pre-charge, pre-trial, youths, convicts, and those whose convictions were not yet final, was a violation of due process. Lastly, the lack of mental health care and several other inadequacies with the facility were found to be a violation of the prisoners' due process rights.

A special master was appointed to oversee the result of three separate consent decrees: (1) the jail would implement a large recognizance program for those merely charged with a crime; (2) the jail would implement a program of suspending drivers' licenses in lieu of incarceration to reduce overcrowding; and (3) submit a report on the construction of a new facility in conjunction with a local hospital.

After the special master's report was completed, the Court issued an order with numerous requirements: the jail was required to further provide access to medical care by having a doctor on premises, as well as emergency services available at all times, and transportation to and from the hospital. The jail was also required to maintain the plumbing and fire alarm systems and reduce overcrowding to 110. Judge Rubin further ordered that prisoners should have access to daily exercise, as well as towels, toothbrushes, and other sanitary items. The Court further ordered the jail to promulgate rules and procedures for officer conduct, discipline, and segregation., and ordered that pre-charge and pre-trial inmates be segregated from those with convictions. It further ordered the jail to eliminate any other cruel and unusual punishment and racial discrimination.

M. Kay Harris of Temple University Law wrote a case study on the implementation of the order over the next decade, and the progress thereof, entitled, "After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings (Part III: A Case Study of Holland v. Donelon)."

Blase Kearney - 04/15/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
General
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Fire safety
Racial segregation
Sanitation / living conditions
Youth / Adult separation
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Jefferson Parish
Plaintiff Description Inmates of the Jefferson Parish Prison.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings (Part III: A Case Study of Holland v. Donelon)
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris (Temple)
Citation: M. Kay Harris, After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings, Part III, A Case Study of Holland v. Donelon (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Holland v. Donelon Revisited: Jail Litigation in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 1971-1991
By: John V. Baiamonte (Southeastern Louisiana University and Loyola University of New Orleans)
Citation: 70 Prison J. 38 (1990)
[ Detail ]

  The Need for a Systemic Policy Approach to Jail Overcrowding: A Case Study of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 1971- 1987
By: John V. Baiamonte (Southeastern Louisiana University and Loyola University of New Orleans)
Citation: on file with U. Penn. L. Rev. (unpublished)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Federal Court Holds Conditions in Jefferson Parish Jail to Constitute Cruel and Unusual Punishment Despite Ad Litem Efforts at Improvement 01/17/1973 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0024-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Rubin, Michael H Court not on record
JC-LA-0024-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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