On June 22, 1978, juveniles detained at the Yakima County Juvenile Detention Center in Washington brought a class action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against the Yakima County Board of County Commissioners, Yakima County Juvenile Superior Court, and ...
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On June 22, 1978, juveniles detained at the Yakima County Juvenile Detention Center in Washington brought a class action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against the Yakima County Board of County Commissioners, Yakima County Juvenile Superior Court, and the Director of the Yakima County Juvenile Department. The plaintiffs, represented by Evergreen Legal Services, sought declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged constitutional violations. On March 27, 1979, the court certified the class, which included all juveniles confined at the Detention Center on or after June 22, 1978.
According to the complaint, juveniles confined at the Detention Center were subject to psychological abuse, corporal punishment, and prolonged isolation in an unlit and unventilated room. Children were locked in their rooms for eighteen hours in a day. Juveniles were not given shoes for short and infrequent outdoor recreation periods. Family members were only allowed to visit children for an hour each day and could not give their children gifts. Detention center staff of the opposite sex strip-searched juveniles and observed them in the showers. The plaintiffs alleged that medical care, school facilities, mental health counseling, probation counseling, sanitation, toilets, and fire safety were deficient. The plaintiffs complained that disciplinary procedures deprived them of due process.
In the course of settlement talks, it appears that the plaintiffs proposed a Partial Consent Judgment. On September 30, 1982, the parties entered a Stipulation for Entry of Judgment. Although the defendants admitted no wrongdoing, they agreed to improve conditions at the Detention Center. Specific clauses in the consent decree addressed sanitation, safety, hygiene, clothing, censorship of mail, telephone privileges, the length of visits, showering privacy, recreation, exercise, school, medical care, search procedures prohibiting opposite-sex searches, and overcrowding. In addition, the consent decree prohibited psychological and physical abuse, including corporal punishment. The parties agreed on guidelines for disciplinary isolation, punitive sanctions, notice, hearings, and a grievance procedure. The consent decree also addressed minimum daily out of cell time and standards for monitoring the detainees. On October 7, 1982, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Judge Justin L. Quackenbush) approved the consent decree and dismissed the lawsuit.
The file contains no further information.Elizabeth Chilcoat - 05/31/2006