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Case Name R.J. v. Bishop JI-IL-0004
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-07289 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Special Collection Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On September 12, 2012, youth confined in facilities operated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against the IDJJ. The plaintiffs, represented by ... read more >
On September 12, 2012, youth confined in facilities operated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against the IDJJ. The plaintiffs, represented by counsel from the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that systemic IDJJ conditions, services, and treatment violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The plaintiffs alleged that the IDJJ:
  • Failed to provide youth with minimally adequate education and mental health;
  • Failed to protect youth;
  • Subjected youth to improper and excessive room confinement; and
  • Held youth beyond their release dates after failing to secure appropriate community placement.
In October 2012, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly certified a plaintiff class consisting of all youth confined by the IDJJ, and a sub-class consisting of all members who have special education needs.

In December 2012, the District Court approved a consent decree and appointed three experts to investigate IDJJ conditions and services and report their findings and recommendations. In September 2013, experts filed reports, finding inadequate education and mental health services, excessive solitary confinement, and other deficiencies.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the parties jointly submitted a proposed remedial plan on March 14, 2014, followed by a revised plan on April 4, 2014. The District Court approved the remedial plan on April 7, 2014, obligating the IDJJ to implement the plan, and the ACLU and court-appointed experts to monitor and enforce the plan.

Beginning in July 2014, the parties and court-appointed monitors negotiated numerous changes to IDJJ policy in such areas as special education, individualized mental health services, and protection of LGBT youth. The District Court approved. On April 24, 2015, the District Court approved a new confinement policy that:
  • Completely prohibited punitive isolation;
  • Narrowly limited non-punitive isolation for purposes of safety;
  • Guaranteed that youths placed in non-punitive isolation will continue to receive ordinary education and mental health services; and
  • Mandated that youth confined for 24 hours or longer be allowed out of their rooms for at least 8 hours each day.
The consent decree called for yearly reporting by monitors on the defendants' progress until all IDJJ facilities showed substantial compliance with the decree for a period of at least one year. In addition, the court awarded the plaintiffs $502,666 in attorneys' fees and costs as of April 7, 2014.

On October 30, 2015, the parties filed a joint status report. The monitor-authored report commended the IDJJ for progress on drafting implementation of new procedures, but also highlighted areas of continued need for improvement. The report pointed to a lack of sufficient educational and medical personnel, and questioned whether new programs purporting to replace excessive confinement measures were in fact still forms of excessive confinement. On November 5, 2015, Judge Kennelly issued a supplemental order dictating the required ratios of mental health staff to classes of confined youth delineated by the severity of their condition. The order gave the IDJJ 120 days to comply. On May 10, 2016, following another status update from the parties, the court again issued a supplemental order to comply with staffing ratios for mental health professionals. The IDJJ had apparently made some effort to comply with the required ratios but had not yet fully complied. The court again gave the IDJJ 120 days to comply.

On June 30, 2016, the court awarded additional costs and attorneys fees for the plaintiffs totaling $197,500. These fees covered the period between April 2014 and April 2015.

On December 12, 2016, the parties filed yet another status report. The IDJJ had still not fully complied with the consent agreement's educational program requirement. The IDJJ cited security issues at its facilities that prevented regular classes from being held, but maintained it had complied with hiring requirements for additional educational and mental health staff. On February 16, 2017, Judge Kennelly issued an order requiring additional status reporting by IDJJ through 2017.

On July 27, 2016 the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel compliance, alleging that some IDJJ facilities were violating elements of the consent agreement related to confinement and facility conditions. The report alleged that facility staff retaliated against residents for disorderly behavior by filing charges against them at the district attorney's office. This violated the IDJJ's agreement not to file criminal charges or use punitive confinement in response to disorderly behavior by residents at its facilities. The motion sought an injunction against this practice. On December 13, 2017, the parties field an amended consent decree requiring that the IDJJ notify the plaintiffs of any criminal prosecutions against facility residents. The amended decree provided for continued supervision subject to yearly reporting by monitors until the IDJJ complied with all terms of the agreement.

The most recent status report was filed on July 25, 2018, describing continued non-compliance by the defendant. The IDJJ still lacked the level of mental health staff and services required by the consent agreement. The case remains ongoing and the IDJJ was under continued supervision as of November 1, 2018. The next status hearing was scheduled for November 8, 2018.

Jessica Kincaid - 03/28/2014
Robert Lake - 06/05/2015
Nathaniel Flack - 11/01/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Education
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Juveniles
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pepper/OC spray
Protective custody
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
Plaintiff Description Class of youth confined in secure facilities operated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - n/a
Filing Year 2012
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Federal court approves end to solitary confinement of juveniles in Illinois
ACLU of Illinois
Date: May 4, 2015
By: ACLU of Illinois
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:12-cv-7289 (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/14/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
JI-IL-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/12/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Certifying Class and Preliminarily Approving Proposed Consent Decree [ECF# 20] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 33] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/06/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Submission of Expert Reports [ECF# 51]
JI-IL-0004-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/23/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Remedial Plan [ECF# 73] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/07/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Submission of Policies Pursuant to Paragraph I (3) of the Remedial Plan [ECF# 80]
JI-IL-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/07/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Order [ECF# 84] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/17/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Supplement to July 7, 2014 Submission of Policies Pursuant to Paragraph I (3) of the Remedial Plan [ECF# 85]
JI-IL-0004-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/29/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notification of Docket Entry [ECF# 86]
JI-IL-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/31/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Submission of Policies Pursuant to Paragraph I (3) of the Remedial Plan [ECF# 87]
JI-IL-0004-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/01/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Submission of Policies Pursuant to Paragraph I (3) of the Remedial Plan [ECF# 102]
JI-IL-0004-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/20/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Certain Policies [ECF# 115] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/26/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Submission of Policy Pursuant to Paragraph I (3) of the Remedial Plan [ECF# 116]
JI-IL-0004-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/05/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Submission of Policies Pursuant to Paragraph I (3) of the Remedial Plan [ECF# 123]
JI-IL-0004-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/17/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Submission of Monitors' Statement [ECF# 127]
JI-IL-0004-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/23/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Supplemental Submission Regarding IDJJ's Revised Confinement Policies [ECF# 128]
JI-IL-0004-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/23/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Submission of Policies Pursuant to Paragraph I (3) of the Remedial Plan [ECF# 133]
JI-IL-0004-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/20/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notification of Docket Entry [ECF# 134]
JI-IL-0004-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/21/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Certain Policies [ECF# 135] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
New IDJJ policies that prohibit juvenile solitary confinement
JI-IL-0004-0004.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/27/2015
Source: ACLU
Amended Consent Decree [ECF# 227] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Semi-Annual Joint Status Report (July 2018) [ECF# 241]
JI-IL-0004-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kennelly, Matthew F. (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0004-0002 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0005 | JI-IL-0004-0007 | JI-IL-0004-0012 | JI-IL-0004-0018 | JI-IL-0004-0021 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bain, Allyson M. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-9000
Bennett, Camille E. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0021 | JI-IL-0004-0022 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Bennett, Khadine Marie (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0020 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Brown, Ruth Z. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0001 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Dosch, Joseph Ryan (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0001 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-0021 | JI-IL-0004-0022 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Eaton, Maja C. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0001 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-0021 | JI-IL-0004-0022 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Fee, Kevin M. Jr. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0001 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-0021 | JI-IL-0004-0022 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Grossman, Harvey (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0001 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Miller, Lindsay Stark (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-0021 | JI-IL-0004-0022 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Schwartz, Adam D. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0001 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-0019 | JI-IL-0004-0020 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Wolf, Benjamin S. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0001 | JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-0021 | JI-IL-0004-0022 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beltran, Deborah Morgan (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Dierkes, Michael T. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-0006 | JI-IL-0004-0008 | JI-IL-0004-0010 | JI-IL-0004-0011 | JI-IL-0004-0013 | JI-IL-0004-0014 | JI-IL-0004-0015 | JI-IL-0004-0016 | JI-IL-0004-0019 | JI-IL-0004-0022 | JI-IL-0004-9000
Madigan, Lisa (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0006 | JI-IL-0004-0008 | JI-IL-0004-0010 | JI-IL-0004-0011 | JI-IL-0004-0013 | JI-IL-0004-0014 | JI-IL-0004-0016
Malowitz, Marni M. (Illinois)
JI-IL-0004-0003 | JI-IL-0004-9000

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