The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice notified the Crittenden County Jail ("Jail") of their intention to investigate conditions pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 on November 7, 1986. The Division released the findings ...
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The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice notified the Crittenden County Jail ("Jail") of their intention to investigate conditions pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 on November 7, 1986. The Division released the findings of the investigation on June 1, 1987.
The Division determined that the prisoners' access to medical care was grossly inadequate. Additionally, the report cited the lack of fire safety measures and the presence of numerous fire hazards at the jail, which pose an unreasonable risk to the life and health of prisoners. The County Jail also lacked adequately trained and sufficient numbers of staff. Finally, the sanitation at the jail posed an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of prisoners.
The Department of Justice brought a suit on July 13, 1989 pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997 to enjoin the Jail from depriving inmates of rights, privileges, or immunities protected by the Constitution. The court (Judge George Howard, Jr.) approved a consent decree on December 26, 1990. The decree stated that inmates at the Jail shall be provided adequate access (1) inmates at the Jail shall be provided adequate access to medical and mental health care, (2) inmates shall be provided a physical environment that poses no unreasonable life safety risks to the inmates, (3) inmates shall be provided adequate sanitation to protect inmates from unreasonable risks to their health and physical safety, (4) a sufficient number of adequately trained and supervised staff shall be employed to provide reasonable safety for inmates, including protection from acts of physical violence by other inmates, (5) inmates shall not be assigned to housing units on the basis of race, (6) Inmates shall be provided with reasonable access to the courts, including access to counsel and to law library facilities, and (7) the effects of overcrowding shall be reduced and prevented. United States v. County of Crittenden, JC89-141, 1990 WL 257949 (E.D.Ark. Dec. 26, 1990).
The PACER docket indicates that the court maintained ongoing compliance with the consent decree through early 2001. On November 27, 2001, the District Court (Judge Howard) dismissed Crittenden County as a defendant, since it was in substantial compliance with the court orders.David Terry - 03/27/2006