University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name CRIPA Investigation of Arizona State Hospital (ASH) ID-AZ-0001
Docket / Court Not applicable ( No Court )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On September 25, 1989, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to the Governor of Arizona, informing him of its intention to investigate conditions at Arizona State Hospital (ASH) pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. DOJ subsequently ... read more >
On September 25, 1989, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to the Governor of Arizona, informing him of its intention to investigate conditions at Arizona State Hospital (ASH) pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. DOJ subsequently toured ASH in November 1989 and again in January 1990.

On December 14, 1990, DOJ sent a findings letter the Governor. In the findings letter, DOJ outlined three primary areas of deficiencies (use of bodily restraints, medical care, and psychiatric care and treatment programs) and demanded certain minimal remedial measures. DOJ demanded that ASH: (1) cease the use of locked posey restraints; (2) increase the number of registered nurses employed at the facility; (3) provide patients with properly fitted adaptive equipment; (4) develop appropriate infection control procedures; and (5) increase psychology staff to enable implementation of treatment and training programs at the facility.

In June and again in October 1991, DOJ toured the facility to monitor compliance with its demands and, finding that the State had taken measures to correct only some of the deficiencies noted in the findings letter, sent another letter on March 10, 1993. In that letter, DOJ demanded that ASH immediately cease use of five-point posey restraints in conjunction with seclusion, and chronicled the dangers inherent in such use. Further, DOJ demanded that, in the absence of seclusion, such five-point restraints be used only after other less restrictive techniques had been employed, by a physician's written order, when continuously monitored and never simply for the convenience of staff.

In January 1995, DOJ again toured the facility to monitor compliance with its demands and, finding that conditions at ASH had improved to the point that they no longer threatened the constitutional rights of ASH patients, sent a letter on February 14, 1995, informing the Governor that it intended to close its CRIPA investigation.

Because we have only the DOJ's December 14, 1990, March 10, 1993, and February 14, 1995, letters, we have no more information on this case.

Josh Altman - 06/20/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
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. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Arizona State Hospital
Plaintiff Description No plaintiff because this is not a court case. The Department of Justice investigated Arizona State Hospital to protect the rights of mental health patients there.
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
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1995
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of the Arizona State Hospital 12/14/1990
ID-AZ-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of the Arizona State Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona 03/10/1993
ID-AZ-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Notice Letter re: Intention to Close CRIPA Investigation of the Arizona State Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona 02/14/1995
ID-AZ-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Akers, Linda A. (Arizona)
ID-AZ-0001-0001
Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)
ID-AZ-0001-0001
Hughes, Verlin (District of Columbia)
ID-AZ-0001-0003
Loss, James (Arizona)
ID-AZ-0001-0003
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
ID-AZ-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Corbin, Robert K. (Arizona)
ID-AZ-0001-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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