University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ CRIPA Investigation of the Norfolk City Jail (VA) JC-VA-0001
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On October 27, 1993, the U.S. Department of Justice commenced an investigation of the conditions at the Norfolk City Jail (NCJ) pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. §1997 et. seq. Based its investigation, the DOJ concluded that conditions at the NCJ ... read more >
On October 27, 1993, the U.S. Department of Justice commenced an investigation of the conditions at the Norfolk City Jail (NCJ) pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. §1997 et. seq. Based its investigation, the DOJ concluded that conditions at the NCJ were grossly deficient and violated the constitutional rights of prisoners, including inadequate medical care, inadequate fire safety, lack of out-of-cell time, unsanitary living conditions, excessive overcrowding, and inadequate access to legal materials.

The DOJ notified officials of the City of Norfolk, VA, of its findings on August 4, 1994, and subsequently attempted to reach an amicable resolution of the matter short of litigation. The City refused to enter into a settlement agreement or submit the case to ADR.

The DOJ prepared a Complaint to be filed against the City of Norfolk for the conditions of confinement at NCJ. However, the PACER electronic docketing system does not show a record of a case styled U.S.A. v. City of Norfolk having been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The 2000 DOJ Annual Report states that the investigation was closed that fiscal year.

We have no further information.

Jessica Kincaid - 04/06/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bathing and hygiene
Fire safety
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical 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. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Norfolk City Jail
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Letter re: Intent to Investigate Conditions at Norfolk City Jail 10/27/1993
JC-VA-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Norfolk City Jail, Norfolk, Virginia 08/03/1994
JC-VA-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum re: Proposed CRIPA Lawsuit Norfolk City Jail, Norfolk, Virginia 09/03/1996
JC-VA-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Complaint 09/16/1996
JC-VA-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Shanneta Y. (District of Columbia)
JC-VA-0001-0004
Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)
JC-VA-0001-0004
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
JC-VA-0001-0001 | JC-VA-0001-0002 | JC-VA-0001-0004
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-VA-0001-0004
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
JC-VA-0001-0004
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
JC-VA-0001-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Breit, Jeffrey (Virginia)
JC-VA-0001-0001
Fahey, Helen F. (Virginia)
JC-VA-0001-0001 | JC-VA-0001-0004
Gilmore, James S. III (Virginia)
JC-VA-0001-0001
Melson, Kenneth E. (Virginia)
JC-VA-0001-0003
Trapani, Phillip R. (Virginia)
JC-VA-0001-0001 | JC-VA-0001-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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