University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name CRIPA investigation of Cresson and Penn. DOC (solitary confinement) PC-PA-0038
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On November 30, 2011, the Department of Justice opened this investigation into conditions of confinement at the State Correctional Institution in Cresson, Pennsylvania, under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. On May 31, 2013, the DOJ issued findings, concluding that the ... read more >
On November 30, 2011, the Department of Justice opened this investigation into conditions of confinement at the State Correctional Institution in Cresson, Pennsylvania, under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. On May 31, 2013, the DOJ issued findings, concluding that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' (PDOC) use of long-term and extreme forms of solitary confinement on prisoners with serious mental illness at Cresson, many of whom also have intellectual disabilities, violated their rights under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The DOJ then expanded the investigation statewide, focusing on similar issues. On February 24, 2014, the DOJ issued findings concluding that PDOC was violating the rights of prisoners under the Eighth Amendment and the ADA statewide across Pennsylvania's 26 prisons.

On April 14, 2016, the DOJ announced the close of its investigation into the PDOC following significant improvements made by PDOC to its policies and practices that were intended to protect prisoners with serious mental illness and intellectual disabilities from the harmful effects of solitary confinement. PDOC had worked to ensure that prisoners with serious mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities were no longer subjected to solitary confinement and were instead provided with specialized treatment to meet their individualized needs.

Jessica Kincaid - 04/22/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mental impairment
General
Conditions of confinement
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, to enforce the rights of prisoners with disabilities in Pennsylvania.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None

Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
DOJ Investigation Announcement Notice 12/01/2011
PC-PA-0038-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -