University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Crittenden County JC-AR-0002
Docket / Court JC89-141 ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice notified the Crittenden County Jail ("Jail") of their intention to investigate conditions pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 on November 7, 1986. The Division released the findings ... read more >
The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice notified the Crittenden County Jail ("Jail") of their intention to investigate conditions pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 on November 7, 1986. The Division released the findings of the investigation on June 1, 1987.

The Division determined that the prisoners' access to medical care was grossly inadequate. Additionally, the report cited the lack of fire safety measures and the presence of numerous fire hazards at the jail, which pose an unreasonable risk to the life and health of prisoners. The County Jail also lacked adequately trained and sufficient numbers of staff. Finally, the sanitation at the jail posed an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of prisoners.

The Department of Justice brought a suit on July 13, 1989 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997 to enjoin the Jail from depriving inmates of rights, privileges, or immunities protected by the Constitution. The court (Judge George Howard, Jr.) approved a consent decree on December 26, 1990. The decree stated that inmates at the Jail shall be provided adequate access (1) inmates at the Jail shall be provided adequate access to medical and mental health care, (2) inmates shall be provided a physical environment that poses no unreasonable life safety risks to the inmates, (3) inmates shall be provided adequate sanitation to protect inmates from unreasonable risks to their health and physical safety, (4) a sufficient number of adequately trained and supervised staff shall be employed to provide reasonable safety for inmates, including protection from acts of physical violence by other inmates, (5) inmates shall not be assigned to housing units on the basis of race, (6) Inmates shall be provided with reasonable access to the courts, including access to counsel and to law library facilities, and (7) the effects of overcrowding shall be reduced and prevented. United States v. County of Crittenden, JC89-141, 1990 WL 257949 (E.D.Ark. Dec. 26, 1990).

The PACER docket indicates that the court maintained ongoing compliance with the consent decree through early 2001. On November 27, 2001, the District Court (Judge Howard) dismissed Crittenden County as a defendant, since it was in substantial compliance with the court orders.

David Terry - 03/27/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Loss or damage to property
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
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. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Crittenden County Jail
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1989 - 1990
Case Closing Year 1990
Case Ongoing No
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 ]

  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Written: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
89-cv-00141-GH (E.D. Ark.) 01/02/2002
JC-AR-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Notice letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Crittenden County Jail, Marion, Arkansas 11/07/1986
JC-AR-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Findings Letter re: Investigation of Crittenden County Jail 06/01/1987
JC-AR-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Complaint 07/05/1989
JC-AR-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 12/26/1990 (1990 WL 257949) (E.D. Ark.)
JC-AR-0002-0004 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Consent Decree 12/26/1990 (1990 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 18112) (E.D. Ark.)
JC-AR-0002-0005 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Howard, George Jr. (E.D. Ark., W.D. Ark.)
JC-AR-0002-0004 | JC-AR-0002-0005 | JC-AR-0002-9000
Williams, Brian (State Trial Court)
JC-AR-0002-0001 | JC-AR-0002-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Banks, Charles A. (Arkansas)
JC-AR-0002-0003 | JC-AR-0002-0004
Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-9000
Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0004
Greenberg, Arthur R. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0003 | JC-AR-0002-0004 | JC-AR-0002-0005
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0003 | JC-AR-0002-0004
Pence, Richard M. Jr. (Arkansas)
JC-AR-0002-0003 | JC-AR-0002-0005 | JC-AR-0002-9000
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0001 | JC-AR-0002-0002
Schoen, Benjamin P. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0003 | JC-AR-0002-0004
Thornburgh, Dick (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0003 | JC-AR-0002-0005
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0003
Weinstein, Laurie J. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0002-0003 | JC-AR-0002-0004 | JC-AR-0002-0005 | JC-AR-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Rogers, Joe M. (Arkansas)
JC-AR-0002-0004 | JC-AR-0002-0005 | JC-AR-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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