In 1977, eleven inmates of Oregon's MacLaren School (a facility for adolescent wards of the juvenile court system, located in Woodburn, Oregon) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Oregon Department of Human Resources in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The plaintiffs, represented by the Oregon Legal Services Corporation, the Legal Aid Service, the National Juvenile Law Center, and the Juvenile Justice Legal Advocacy Project of the National Center for Youth Law, asked the district court for declaratory and injunctive relief. They alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by cruel and unusual punishments such as beatings, macings, druggings with powerful psychotropic drugs, strapping juveniles to beds for long periods of time, forcing them to stand at attention for hours on end, forcing them to sit silently for days at a time, confining them in cramped isolation cells, depriving them of items such as mattresses, reading materials, and bathroom facilities, forcing them to urinate out windows or on the floor, overcrowding, and lack of personal security. They also complained of unconstitutional violations in the areas of due process of law, forced involuntary servitude, right to privacy, freedom of religion, and equal protection (such as failure to provide fire and emergency procedures, use of corporal punishment, failure to provide administrative hearings before discipline, and overcrowding, all of which are regulated by Oregon laws in adult correctional facilities).
On February 22, 1985, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (Judge James M. Burns) granted declaratory and injunctive relief to the plaintiffs, detailing specific requirements that the defendants had to meet before they could be found compliant with the Constitution. The court issued requirements in the areas of confinement requirements, procedural safeguards, environmental conditions, supplies, clothing, disciplinary procedures, use of restraints, exercise and recreation, education, food, visitation, medical care, drug and alcohol treatment, mental illness, staffing levels, and staff training. The defendants appealed.
On November 4, 1987, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge Alfred Theodore Goodwin) vacated the district court's opinion and remanded the case for further consideration. The Ninth Circuit reasoned that, since the Eighth Amendment applied only to "convicted prisoners," the district court had used the wrong standard of review, and remanded the case so that the district judge could use the due process clause as the standard. Gary H. v. Hegstrom, 831 F.2d 1430 (9th Cir. 1987).
Our docket (current as of 7/12/2006) records that the district court (Judge Burns) dismissed the case without prejudice and without costs on July 20, 1989. We have no other record of the proceedings in this case.Kristen Sagar - 07/12/2006