University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of Sebastian County Adult Detention Center, Fort Smith, Arkansas JC-AR-0008
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In March 2005, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., commenced an investigation into the conditions of confinement at the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center in ... read more >
In March 2005, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., commenced an investigation into the conditions of confinement at the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center in Arkansas.

Based on its investigation, the DOJ concluded that the conditions and practices at the Detention Center violated the constitutional rights of convicted inmates and pre-trial detainees. To remedy the unconstitutional practices, the DOJ issued a May 9, 2006, letter advising Sebastian County officials to immediately implement certain measures necessary to provide inmates with adequate medical care, adequate mental health care, sufficient protection from harm, and safe environmental conditions.

In 2008, the DOJ and Sebastian County entered into a memorandum of agreement regarding the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center. The agreement required the Detention Center to improve general medical care, including intake and health assessments, chronic care, acute care, infection control, and administration and control of medication. The agreement also required improvements in mental health care, protection from harm, and environmental health, safety, and sanitation. The Detention Center was required to report semi-annually regarding conditions. The agreement was set to terminate four years after its implementation. There are no other documents regarding this investigation.

Dan Dalton - 02/04/2008
Jessica Kincaid - 04/18/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Restraints : chemical
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Tuberculosis
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) Sebastion County Adult Detention Center
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
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
Re: Investigation of the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center, Fort Smith, Arkansas 05/09/2006
JC-AR-0008-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Justice and Sebastian County, Arkansas regarding the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center 01/01/2008
JC-AR-0008-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Judges Hudson, David (State Trial Court)
JC-AR-0008-0001 | JC-AR-0008-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0008-0002
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0008-0002
England, Sheridan Leigh (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0008-0002
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0008-0001
Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0008-0002
Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)
JC-AR-0008-0002

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