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Case Name Rasho v. Walker PC-IL-0031
Docket / Court 1:07-CV-1298-HAB-JAG ( C.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Uptown People's Law Center
Case Summary
On November 7, 2007, mentally ill prisoners incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq.; and the ... read more >
On November 7, 2007, mentally ill prisoners incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq.; and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794, against the state of Illinois. The plaintiffs, represented by the Uptown People's Law Center, Equip for Equality, and private counsel, claimed that their lack of access to adequate mental health treatment constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and discrimination under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. They asked the Court for a judgment declaring defendants' conduct unconstitutional and an injunction against defendants' unlawful conduct.

Plaintiffs are incarcerated in various correctional centers of the IDOC. Most incoming inmates at these facilities do not receive a meaningful mental health screening upon arrival. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that care of those prisoners who are identified as needing mental health care is grossly substandard. What limited care is available is provided chiefly by medication and prisoners are only infrequently able to consult with mental health professionals. Only four of the IDOC's correctional facilities offer some form of specialized mental health services. As a result of defendants' failure to reasonably accommodate plaintiffs' disabilities, the plaintiffs allege that they have experienced mental and physical pain and, in many cases, the exacerbation of existing mental illnesses.

On May 8, 2013, Judge Michael Mihm entered an interim order to facilitate a consent decree. The order requires the parties to assess and negotiate the number of additional mental health staff and bed and treatment space needed, and mandates that the IDOC develop policies related to the segregation, protective custody, and discipline of mentally ill inmates.

On December 22, 2015, the case settled. Under the terms of the settlement:
  • For the first time ever, Illinois will provide both long-term and acute care in residential treatment centers for prisoners who are so seriously mentally ill that they require hospitalization. Previously, these very ill people were housed in isolation.
  • More than 300 new clinical staff will be hired to treat prisoners with serious mental illnesses, along with over 400 new security staff to work at the new residential treatment units. This will allow the state to provide group therapy and one-on-one therapy for prisoners.
  • IDOC will review the mental health of all prisoners with more than 60 days left in solitary, to determine if they should be given early release. IDOC will also release from solitary all prisoners with serious mental illnesses who are confined there for minor, non-violent offenses, and in the future will consider mental health before sentencing someone to segregation.
  • Prisoners with mental illnesses who are in solitary confinement for over 60 days will have their out-of-cell time increased from less than an hour a day to 20 hours a week.
Construction costs for the new facilities are estimated to be $40 million and the new personnel costs are expected to be approximately $40 million annually.
{More to come on the settlement}

Nate West - 10/04/2014
- 12/23/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Illinois
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are mentally ill inmates incarcerated at various correctional facilities of the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Uptown People's Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:07-cv-01298-MMM-JAG (C.D. Ill.) 11/18/2016
PC-IL-0031-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/06/2007
PC-IL-0031-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction 04/25/2008
PC-IL-0031-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Class Action Complaint 05/04/2009
PC-IL-0031-0001.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs’ and State Defendants’ Proposed Case Management Plan 11/19/2010
PC-IL-0031-0002.pdf | Detail
Second Amended Class Action Complaint 04/29/2011
PC-IL-0031-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Stipulated Motion for Class Certification for Settlement Purposes 05/06/2011 (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0031-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Entry of an Agreed Scheduling Order Solely with Respect to Severed Count VI [With Order Granting Attached] 08/08/2011
PC-IL-0031-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/08/2013 (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0031-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Proposed] Settlement Agreement 01/21/2016
PC-IL-0031-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Settlement Agreement 05/23/2016
PC-IL-0031-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Baker, Harold Albert (E.D. Ill., FISC, C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0031-0001
Gorman, John A. (C.D. Ill.) [Magistrate]
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Mihm, Michael Martin (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-0006 | PC-IL-0031-0008 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Antholt, Amanda C. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-9000
Bennett, Camille E. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-0003 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Hirshman, Harold C. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-0003 | PC-IL-0031-0010 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Kadish, Marc R. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-0003 | PC-IL-0031-0007 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Lowy, Barry G. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-0003 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Miller, Laura J. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-9000
Mills, Alan S. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-0003 | PC-IL-0031-0007 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Stone, William R. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0007 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Taylor, Barry Charlton (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-9000
Wargin, Matthew V. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0007 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Corrigan, Terence J. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-9000
Higgerson, Christopher L. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Hildebrand, Heidi (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Powell, Theresa M. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Smith, Brian Michael (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-9000
Walter, David M. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0031-0001 | PC-IL-0031-0002 | PC-IL-0031-9000
Other Lawyers Stonebrook, Martha S. (Utah)
PC-IL-0031-9000

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