On March 29, 1990, several prisoners in the Placer County jail system filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Placer County. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging ...
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On March 29, 1990, several prisoners in the Placer County jail system filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Placer County. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement and, in particular, overcrowding. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.
On July 20, 1990, the District Court (Senior Judge Thomas J. Macbride) issued a preliminary injunction regarding prisoner population capacities at the Placer County Jail. The injunction was amended on August 17, 1990, by Judge Lawrence K. Karlton and Magistrate Judge John F. Moulds; the content of the amendment is unclear from the docket.
The docket also contains few entries for the following two years; presumably, the parties were negotiating a settlement, as Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski notified the court that the case had settled on July 24, 1992. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants agreed, among other things, to a population cap of 100 percent capacity at the Placer County Mail Jail and Minimum Security facilities (646 people). To make this feasible, the settlement also authorized the sheriff to begin releasing prisoners when a facility is within ten percent of its rated capacity.
Following notice to the settlement class, Magistrate Judge Nowinski made a report and recommendation to the Court that the settlement should be approved, with the exception of a provision regarding the jail's "safety cell."
On April 16, 1993, the Court (Judge Karlton) adopted the magistrate's recommendation in full, and the settlement was approved.
The settlement was still in effect as of 2008, when the sheriff sent a letter to the Placer County Board of Supervisors informing the Board that it had released prisoners under the District Court's order every day of the last fiscal year and asking it to approve alternative sentencing programs to lighten its load.Christopher Schad - 07/18/2012