University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name CRIPA Investigation, Black Hawk County (IA) JC-IA-0001
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory Iowa
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On April 16, 1998, an attorney from the Special Litigation section of the U.S. Department of Justice made a recommendation to the Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, that an investigation into conditions at the Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo, Iowa, be initiated under 42 U. ... read more >
On April 16, 1998, an attorney from the Special Litigation section of the U.S. Department of Justice made a recommendation to the Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, that an investigation into conditions at the Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo, Iowa, be initiated under 42 U.S.C. § 1997, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). The recommendation memo indicated that there had been credible reports of constitutional violations of prisoners' rights, including inadequate mental health and medical care, inadequate suicide prevention, and staff abuse.

On May 8, 1998, the Department of Justice informed the Black Hawk County Jail that the Department of Justice was initiating an investigation of these allegations pursuant to CRIPA.

On January 4, 1999, the DOJ issued a findings letter concluding that conditions at the Jail violated the inmates' federal constitutional rights. Specifically, the DOJ found violations with respect to medical and mental health care, suicide prevention, inmate supervision and protection from harm, and improper use of the restraint chair. The DOJ also had serious concerns about excessive use of force. The DOJ identified remedial measures the Jail had to take to correct the deficiencies.

It appears the the Attorney General did not file a lawsuit. We have no further information regarding this case.

Jaclyn Adams - 03/03/2006
Jessica Kincaid - 04/09/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
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) Black Hawk County 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 None Yet / None
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
Memorandum: Recommendation to Investigate the Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo, Iowa 04/16/1998
JC-IA-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of the Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo, Iowa. 05/08/1998
JC-IA-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of the Black Hawk County Jail in Waterloo, Iowa 01/04/1999
JC-IA-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)
JC-IA-0001-0002 | JC-IA-0001-0003
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
JC-IA-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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