This case was brought by the United States pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). On February 8, 1995, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, served the Governor of Arizona with a notice letter regarding their intent to investigate allegations of sexual ...
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This case was brought by the United States pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). On February 8, 1995, the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, served the Governor of Arizona with a notice letter regarding their intent to investigate allegations of sexual abuse and violations of privacy rights of female inmates in the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC).
The Department of Justice sent its finding to Arizona governor J. Fife Symington on August 8, 1996. The investigation found significant evidence of physical sexual misconduct and constitutionally unacceptable invasions of privacy. This included sexual relations between inmates and employees, sexual assaults, and frequent, prolonged viewing during dressing and showering of inmates.
In response to these findings the DOJ offered a series of recommendations which included: better screening of employees; improved training; investigation of any allegations of sexual misconduct or unlawful invasion of privacy; stronger sanctions including criminal prosecution for employee offenses; use of an independent outside agency to investigate allegations; as well as a number of proactive steps to address sexual misconduct and unlawful invasions of privacy. The findings letter also recommended the creation of a Women's Facilities Administrator to serve as a liaison between the women's facilities and ADOC's Director and Deputy Director. In conclusion, the findings letter provided a warning that should the ADOC not address these problems the Attorney General could institute a lawsuit to correct the deficiencies.
On March 10, 1997, the United States filed a complaint against the State of Arizona and Gov. Symington in the District of Arizona (Judge Roslyn Silver). The complaint alleged that the Defendants were violating the constitutional rights of female inmates to be free from sexual misconduct and unlawful invasions of privacy. The complaint sought to enjoin the Defendants from ""continuing the acts, practices and omissions"" of allowing sexual misconduct and unlawful invasion of the privacy of female inmates.
On October 2, 1998, Defendants moved for summary judgment. Prior to any ruling by the Court, the parties reached a settlement, which was filed on March 11, 1999. As part of the settlement, defendants did not admit any constitutional violations, but agreed to adopt policy and procedures from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, improve screening and training of employees, promote inmate awareness and comfort in reporting abuse, and thoroughly investigate allegations of abuse. The settlement required ""substantial compliance"" by the ADOC, to be determined by a jointly agreed monitor. The monitor would conduct three quarterly onsite tours following the filing of the settlement agreement. Provided the monitor found ""substantial compliance"" by the ADOC after the third tour, the lawsuit would be permanently dismissed.
On December 13, 1999, the parties jointly filed a stipulation to dismiss which Judge Silver granted in a December 17, 1999 order.Eoghan Keenan - 04/16/2005