The plaintiff class, inmates in the Camden County Jail (CCJ) of New Jersey, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on June 14, 1982, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the constitutionality of their confinement. The plaintiff class alleged that the totality of the ...
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The plaintiff class, inmates in the Camden County Jail (CCJ) of New Jersey, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on June 14, 1982, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the constitutionality of their confinement. The plaintiff class alleged that the totality of the circumstances resulting from prison overcrowding caused inadequate provision of living space, sanitary facilities, visitation, recreation, medical services, religious activities and the absence of a classification system. As relief, the plaintiffs sought a declaration that the conditions were unconstitutional, access to professional medical, dental and psychological services, a classification system, expanded visitation, opportunities to engage in recreation, access to a law library and an injunction to require a reduction in the jail population. The plaintiffs were represented by the Office of the Public Advocate.
On July 16, 1982, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Judge Harold Ackerman) appointed Worral F. Mountain to serve as Special Master and to examine the conditions at CCJ. Sidney M. Shreiber later replaced Worral Mountain as Special Master. A consent judgment was ordered on November 18, 1982, which set forth specific remedies as to the provision of an adequate classification system, library, medical treatment, recreation and visitation. On December 23, 1986, the Second Amended Consent Judgment (SACJ) was entered and addressed remaining issues at the existing jail as well as providing for the delivery of services and programs at the new proposed county jail. The SACJ placed further requirements upon the CCJ to provide inmates with active recreation, passive recreation (i.e. television programming), reading materials, a law library, and a new visitation policy. The SACJ provided for monitoring and inspection as well as sanctions for non-compliance. Fines were imposed several times in 1987 for the county's failure to comply with the SACJ. In March 1988, the new jail for Camden County was opened. On September 13, 1988, Judge Ackerman held that the District Court maintained jurisdiction over the instant class action suit even though the county had closed the old facility, subject of the original complaint, and opened a new jail. Camden County Jail Inmates v. Parker, 123 F.R.D. 490 (D.N.J. 1988). The Court found that overcrowding at the old facility was only one of the county's policies which the inmates had challenged. Therefore, the Court retained subject matter jurisdiction over the matter and the power to enforce the SACJ.
After submission of a report by Special Master Schreiber regarding the new jail, a subsequent consent decree was issued on August 19, 1994, by Judge Ackerman. This decree set forth additional guidelines regarding jail population, medical care, and monitoring and enforcement. The decree also maintained the provisions of the SACJ.
The docket in this case was not available on PACER, and accordingly, we do not have further information on the case.Tom Madison - 02/11/2006