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Case Name In Re: County of Wayne JI-MI-0002
Docket / Court Docket No. Not Available ( State Court )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On March 21, 1994, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the state of Michigan that it intended to investigate the conditions of confinement the Wayne County Youth Home (later called Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility [WCJDF]), a juvenile detention ... read more >
On March 21, 1994, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the state of Michigan that it intended to investigate the conditions of confinement the Wayne County Youth Home (later called Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility [WCJDF]), a juvenile detention facility in Detroit, Michigan, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

The investigation was to focus on allegations regarding physical and psychological abuse of residents; failure to properly investigate and curtail sexual abuse of residents by staff; improper disciplinary practices; inadequate staffing and supervision; inadequate medical care, mental health care, and suicide prevention measures; environmental health and safety deficiencies; lack of classification; overcrowding; inadequate access to telephones, mail, general reading material and legal books; and inadequate educational services.

On December 21, 1994, the DOJ issued its findings letter, wherein it described numerous conditions at the WCJDF that violated the constitutional and federal statutory rights of the juveniles detained there. Those conditions included the areas of (1) operational, management, staffing, and programming deficiencies; (2) inadequate medical care, mental health care, dental healthcare, and suicide prevention measures; (3) serious environmental and health deficiencies and (4) numerous fire safety deficiencies. The DOJ outlined minimal remedial measures that the WCJDF needed to immediately undertake to correct the problems.

On November 8, 1993, the County of Wayne, Michigan and the Wayne County Youth Home, filed a lawsuit against the Probate Court in the Circuit Court for the County of Wayne pursuant to Michigan state law. The plaintiffs, represented by corporate counsel for the county, operated and funded the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility and alleged that the manner in which the Probate Court operated the JDF created severe overcrowding. The complaint requested that the court issue a writ of superintending control/prohibition giving plaintiffs discretion to control the population of the JDF.

On June 16, 1995, Wayne County and the Wayne County Youth Home filed for a second writ of superintending control over the Probate Court. Plaintiffs filed for this second writ because the population limits set in the agreement were never followed, and the probate court consistently took longer than the agreed upon time to process paperwork for either releasing juveniles or for transferring them to state custody. Plaintiffs requested that the court declare that the director of the JDF had the exclusive power to establish and maintain the maximum capacity of the facility and that the Probate Court be required to involve the director in all decisions to admit juveniles.

On June 21, 1995 the parties entered into a preliminary agreement to cap the JDF's population at 175. The agreement specifically detailed the procedures that would be followed to ensure that the population stays under this number. The agreement also provided for fifty electronic monitors to be used for lower risk juveniles that were released to meet population limits. We do not have any further information about the case.

Emilee Baker - 05/16/2006
Dan Dalton - 02/25/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Post-PLRA Population Cap
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Education
Fire safety
Library (non-law) access
Mail
Phone
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) Probate Court for Wayne County
Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility
Plaintiff Description County of Wayne, Wayne County Executive, Wayne County Youth Home and its interim director
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1995 - n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Wayne County Youth Home, Detroit , Michigan
JI-MI-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/21/1994
Correspondence
JI-MI-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/1994
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Notice of Findings of Investigation, Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility
JI-MI-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/21/1994
Case Summary
JI-MI-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/16/1995
Complaint for Writ of Superintending Control/Prohibition and other Relief
JI-MI-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/16/1995
Preliminary Agreement to Cap Jail Population at 175
JI-MI-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/21/1995
Plaintiff's Lawyers Granholm, Jennifer M. (Michigan)
JI-MI-0002-0002
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
JI-MI-0002-0005 | JI-MI-0002-0006
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
JI-MI-0002-0004

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