On January 6, 1986, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice [DOJ] notified the state of New Jersey that it intended to investigate the conditions of confinement at the Essex County Youth House at Newark, New Jersey pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq. Following its investigation, the DOJ issued its findings letter on July 23 1986, which outlined various egregious conditions of confinement that existed at the facility. Those conditions included (1) inadequate fire safety; (2) abuse, violence and arbitrary administration of punishment; (3) unsanitary and unsafe environmental conditions; and (4) overcrowding.
On December 9, 1987, the DOJ filed a Complaint pursuant to CRIPA in the in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Newark) challenging the conditions of confinement at Essex County Youth House.
A Consent Decree was entered on December 22, 1987 by the District Court (Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise). The Consent Decree called for reforms in the following areas (1) fire safety; (2) administration of punishment; (3) use of restrain devices; (4) environmental conditions; and (5) overcrowding; (6) training an supervision of the staff.
Bennett D. Zurofsky was appointed as Special Master to monitor the implementation process.
A modification order followed on April 14, 1988. Further implementation orders were issued by the District Court: Implementing Order 1, entered on April 19, 1994, Implementing Order 2, entered on May 6, 1994, Implementing Order 3 (by consent), entered on June 13, 1994, Implementing Order 4 (by consent), entered on December 30, 1994, and Implementing Order 5 (by consent), entered on April2, 1996.
The parties entered a separate Consent Agreement on April 17, 1997, relating to use of mechanical restraints. Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise entered an order on March 30, 2000, administratively dismissing the case. The case was reopened and on November 3, 2003, the District Court entered an order amending the Consent Decree.
No further entries appear on the PACER docket, which was current as of the date of this summary. We have no further information on this case.Dan Dalton - 02/24/2007