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Case Name U.S. CRIPA investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail JC-LA-0029
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In April 2011, the Department of Justice notified the St. Tammany Parish Government president regarding conditions at St. Tammany Parish Jail. The DOJ intended to investigate confinement conditions and possible violations of prisoners' constitutional rights in the jail pursuant to the Civil Rights ... read more >
In April 2011, the Department of Justice notified the St. Tammany Parish Government president regarding conditions at St. Tammany Parish Jail. The DOJ intended to investigate confinement conditions and possible violations of prisoners' constitutional rights in the jail pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. On June 20, 2011 the United States conducted an on-site inspection of the jail, inspecting mental health care facilities and jail capacity to adequately address suicide prevention.

On July 12, 2012, the United States issued a findings letter under 42 U.S.C. § 1997 in which the DOJ concluded that specific conditions at the jail violated inmates eight and fourteenth amendment rights. The findings noted specific violations regarding: failure to provide adequate mental health screenings, assessments, treatment, and medication for prisoners with mental illness; grossly inadequate suicide prevention care; nursing staff not appropriately trained to identify or treat suicidal prisoners; jail staff not appropriately trained in suicide prevention; and a deficiency in the jails quality assurance program which examined suicide prevention and response to suicide attempts. The DOJ recommended comportment with constitutional requirements, detailing forty-four specific requirements the jail needed to meet.

In 2013, St. Tammany Jail and the DOJ entered into an agreement to resolve the issues stated in the 2012 letter before a CRIPA lawsuit was filed. The agreement consisted of specific areas where the jail would continue to improve care, and meet standards stipulated to by an independent auditor. Further, the jail was required to submit bi-annual compliance reports to the auditor and the DOJ detailing its compliance with the agreement. The agreement terminates following substantial compliance with each provision of the agreement and maintained that compliance for a period of one year.

On May 11, 2014, the independent monitor Reena Kapoor, MD, completed the initial report detailing the jail's compliance with the agreement. Of the 48 provisions listed in the agreement, the monitor noted 29 areas of substantial compliance, 17 areas of partial compliance, and 2 areas of non-compliance. Noted areas which need continued improvement were suicide prevention for female inmates, treatment plans, restraint and seclusion policy, Screening for mental illness prior to isolation placement, and basic mental health training for correctional officers. Further, the creation of a Mental Health Review Committee and the implementation of clinic audits of psychiatrist's clinical care was recommended.

On December 7, 2014, Dr. Kapoor released the second monitor's report. The report noted continued compliance with the agreement, and improvement from the first report. Of the 48 provisions listed in the agreement, 44 areas were being substantially complied with, and only 4 were classified as partially compliant.

The fifth and final monitor's report was filed on November 28, 2016. The report found only one area that the jail was in partial compliance with the initial agreement, and the remaining 47 where there was substantial compliance. Dr. Kapoor noted that the jail and Parish continued to do an excellent job complying with the agreement and adopting recommendations made. This is a marked improvement from the first monitoring report. No further reports have been made pursuant to this agreement.

Edward Cullen - 02/08/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Goals and Timekeeping
Monitoring
Reporting
Training
General
Conditions of confinement
Failure to train
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, unspecified
Special Case Type
Out-of-court
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) St. Tammany Parish Jail
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se 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 2013 - n/a
Filing Year 2012
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Re: United States' Investigation of the St. Tammany Parish Jail Pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Person Act
JC-LA-0029-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/12/2012
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Memorandum of Agreement
JC-LA-0029-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/15/2013
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Monitor's Report #1
JC-LA-0029-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/11/2014
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Monitor's Report #2
JC-LA-0029-0004.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/07/2014
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Monitor's Report #3
JC-LA-0029-0005.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/05/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Monitor's Report #4
JC-LA-0029-0006.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 02/01/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Monitor's Report #5
JC-LA-0029-0007.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 11/28/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Monitors/Masters Kapoor, Reena (Connecticut)
JC-LA-0029-0003 | JC-LA-0029-0004 | JC-LA-0029-0005 | JC-LA-0029-0006 | JC-LA-0029-0007
Plaintiff's Lawyers Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0029-0002
Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0029-0002
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0029-0001
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0029-0002
Sanders, Corey M. (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0029-0002
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
JC-LA-0029-0002

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