On January 9, 2009, six inmates of the Canyon County Jail filed a class action lawsuit against the jail under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. §1983. Represented by the ACLU, the plaintiffs filed for declaratory and injunctive relief claiming their confinement was indecent, cruel and, inhumane due to overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, inadequate plumbing, inadequate recreation, inadequate medical care and overall lack of cleanliness.
On August 21, 2009, the court (Judge B. Lynn Winmill) entered an order preliminarily approved the parties' consent decree, conditionally certified the plaintiffs' class, directed notice to the plaintiff's class, and scheduled a final fairness hearing. On November 12, 2009, the court (Judge Winmill) approved the Consent Decree, which requires the jail to adhere to its functional capacity except in rare circumstances, and even then, for periods of no more than 48 hours. The Consent Decree also contains detailed provisions concerning sanitation, temperature control, water temperature, staffing levels, special meals and a prohibition against sex discrimination in the work release programs for female prisoners.
On April 15, 2010, the parties moved to amend the Consent Decree. The amendments included new provisions relating to security checks in the prisons. Specifically, the jail agreed to train its staff to perform security checks, simplify and revamp the procedure for logging security checks, and generate reports for jail administrators showing the number of security checks each day. The court (Judge Winmill) approved the amendment on May 3, 2010.
The parties moved for a second amendment to the Consent Decree on December 28, 2010. The court (Judge Winmill) approved the amendment on January 3, 2011. Under the amendment, work release prisoners are to be released to a specific unit with a designated functional capacity.
The parties moved for a third amendment to the Consent Decree on November 19, 2012. With the exception of attorneys fees, which the parties resolved by separate agreement, the parties agreed that the third amendment resolved all issues in the complaint. The amendment states that the defendant substantially complied with the 2009 Consent Decree, and that the only sections still remaining would be those in the third amendment. The third amendment set forth detailed provisions regarding ventilation, sanitation, plumbing, outdoor recreation, staffing and rule enforcement, and implementation and verification. The court (Judge Winmill) approved the order on January 8, 2013. The Consent Decree was to remain in place for a minimum of one year, after which it was susceptible to termination under the PLRA. No further action has been taken in this case.Priyah Kaul - 09/30/2014
Kya Henley - 03/24/2014