On May 12, 1986, the United States Department of Justice notified the Governor of Guam that it intended to investigate the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (DMHSA) Inpatient United and the Adult Correctional Facility (ACF) under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. On August 11, 1987, the Department of Justice announced its findings, which stated that conditions at DMHRA, ACR, and Rosario Detention Facility (RDF) violated the constitutional rights of institutionalized persons. We do not know, however, what specific violations were found.
On February 13, 1991, the United States filed this CRIPA lawsuit against the Territory in the United States District Court for the Territory of Guam. The United States complained about fire safety, sanitation, and medical, dental, and mental health care in the facilities. On May 16, 1991, the parties entered a consent decree, with the District Court's (Judge Ronald S.W. Lew) approval. Under the terms of the consent decree, Guam admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to address fire safety and prevention, sanitation, medical care, dental care, and mental health care in their facilities.
To improve fire safety, Guam agreed to install sprinkler and smoke detection systems, egress doors, and remote-control locks in its facilities. In addition, the Territory agreed to replace polyurethane foam mattresses, pillows, and furniture with flame retardant materials. Guam also agreed to stop using facilities with wood and tin roofs and to repair electrical fire hazards.
To address sanitation problems, the Territory agreed to implement better food service and waste disposal practices. In addition, Guam agreed to take steps to address cockroach, rat, mouse, mosquito, and fly infestations. Guam agreed to improve ventilation and provide inmates with access to hot showers.
The consent decree also included provisions requiring routine and emergency medical, dental, and mental health care. The territory agreed to hire a full-time physician for ACT by November 18, 1991. The parties also agreed to appoint a monitor (J. Bradley Kleemm) to monitor compliance with the consent decree.
Guam's compliance with the consent decree was not satisfactory and, sometime between 1991 and 1998, the United States asked the court to find the defendants in contempt of the consent decree. On April 22, 1998, the court approved a stipulated order, under the terms of which Guam agreed to comply with the terms of the consent decree by December 31, 1998. In addition, Guam agreed to construct a new 80-bed prison unit, which would comply with the fire safety and ventilation requirements of the earlier consent decree. The Department of Justice agreed to dismiss the lawsuit if Guam was found to be in compliance with the consent decree on December 31, 1998. The docket lists this lawsuit as closed, so it is possible that Guam met the deadline for compliance.
Our docket is incomplete and we lack the pleadings and investigative findings in this lawsuit.Elizabeth Chilcoat - 06/22/2006