On August 12, 2002, the United States filed a lawsuit against Shelby County, Tennessee, under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Memphis Division. The government asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that conditions at Shelby County Jail violated the rights, privileges and immunities of those incarcerated there. Specific problems included security and staffing, medical and mental health care, and environmental health and safety. among other concerns.
Previously, on August 24, 2000, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Mayor of Shelby County indicating an intention to investigate conditions at the Jail pursuant to CRIPA. Separate litigation by an inmate challenging unconstitutional conditions at the jail had been ongoing since 1996. Little v. Shelby County (JC-TN-0004).
On October 4-6 and December 11-13, 2000, the government toured the Jail. And, on June 27, 2001, the government sent a findings letter to the Mayor indicating it found conditions at the Jail unconstitutional. The parties began negotiating a remedy in July 2000, and produced a settlement agreement.
On August 12, 2002, the same day the United States filed its complaint, it also filed the settlement agreement with the District Court. The parties filed a joint motion to conditionally dismiss the case. And, on August 15, 2002, the District Court (Judge Bernice B. Donald) conditionally dismissed the case, specifically retaining jurisdiction to monitor compliance with the agreement.
With respect to security and supervision, the settlement agreement established policies for security staffing and training, population management, security policies and procedures, classification and discipline, use of force, grievance procedures, and gang management. With respect to medical and mental health, the settlement agreement established policies for screening, medication and specialty care, sick call and staffing, mental health information and intervention, chronic and critical care, suicide prevention, universal precautions, and critical incident reviews. With respect to environmental health and safety, the settlement agreement established policies for food services, housekeeping, preventative maintenance and pest control, personal hygiene and laundry, plumbing, ventilation, fire safety and emergency preparedness. The settlement agreement further established policies for access to the courts, exercise opportunities, reporting, implementation, enforcement and termination.
We have no further information on this case.Josh Altman - 10/04/2006