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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Mississippi ID-MS-0001
Docket / Court 90-0320 ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On June 21, 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., against the State of Mississippi in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The government alleged that the ... read more >
On June 21, 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., against the State of Mississippi in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The government alleged that the conditions at Ellisville State School, a state-run facility for people with intellectual disabilities in Ellisville, Mississippi, violated the constitutional rights of the residents, and it asked the court for injunctive relief. The government claimed that the state had failed to provide medical care and treatment; to prescribe and administer medications properly; and to employ a sufficient number of trained staff to care for the residents. Furthermore, the residents were subjected to unnecessary bodily restraints. The government asked the court for injunctive relief. The case was assigned to Judge William H. Barbour Jr.

The lawsuit was prompted by the Department's September, 1985 investigation of the facility's conditions. In a report issued to the state on March 25, 1986, the Department described an insufficient number of psychologists and psychiatrists on staff; a lack of training for children who exhibited dangerously aggressive behavior; the excessive administration of psychotropic medications; inaccurate recordkeeping; and the disrepair of some rooms. The report recommended providing residents with medical care; improving recordkeeping; modifying medication practices to comply with professional standards; instituting training programs; ending the use of physical restraints; and increasing the number of staff.

On June 21, 1990, the parties entered a Consent Decree. The State agreed to improvements in a variety of areas, including the development of training programs; the increase of staff; and the administration of medical care and medication. They also agreed to use bodily restraint and seclusion practices only when appropriate. The court approved the Decree the same day. The court was to retain jurisdiction over the action until the defendants fully and faithfully implemented all provisions of the Consent Decree; the parties anticipated that this would be in two years from its entry.

Information about this case is somewhat limited following the entry of the Consent Decree. In May 1992, the parties agreed to changes in policies and procedures at the Ellisville State School following the entry of the consent decree. It appears that the State implemented the Consent Decree's provisions within the time anticipated, as on August 7, 1992, the court dismissed the case with the agreement of the parties.

Laura Uberti - 07/21/2006
Sarah McDonald - 08/12/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Hire
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Training
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Disability
Mental impairment
General
Aggressive behavior
Failure to train
Juveniles
Reassessment and care planning
Record-keeping
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
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.
Defendant(s) Ellisville State School
Mississippi Department of Mental Health
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
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 1990 - n/a
Filing Year 1990
Case Closing Year 1992
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
90-0320 (S.D. Miss.)
ID-MS-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/1992
Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
General Documents
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Ellisville State School, Ellisville, Mississippi
ID-MS-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/25/1986
Complaint
ID-MS-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/21/1990
Consent Decree (S.D. Miss.)
ID-MS-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/21/1990
Judges Barbour, William Henry Jr. (S.D. Miss.)
ID-MS-0001-0003 | ID-MS-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Deutsch, David (District of Columbia)
ID-MS-0001-0002 | ID-MS-0001-0003 | ID-MS-0001-9000
Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)
ID-MS-0001-0002 | ID-MS-0001-0003
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
ID-MS-0001-0002 | ID-MS-0001-0003
Phillips, George L. (District of Columbia)
ID-MS-0001-0002 | ID-MS-0001-0003
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)
ID-MS-0001-0001
Thornburgh, Dick (District of Columbia)
ID-MS-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Gibbs, Robert L. (Mississippi)
ID-MS-0001-9000
Moore, Mike (Mississippi)
ID-MS-0001-0003

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