Plaintiffs filed a class action suit on behalf of all current and future inmates confined at the Reception and Diagnostic Center (RDC) of the Indiana Department of Corrections asserting that the conditions of the facility were below standards of human decency in violation of the Sixth, Eighth and ...
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Plaintiffs filed a class action suit on behalf of all current and future inmates confined at the Reception and Diagnostic Center (RDC) of the Indiana Department of Corrections asserting that the conditions of the facility were below standards of human decency in violation of the Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The complaint was filed in the Southern District of Indiana on June 13, 1990 by attorneys with the Indiana Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU National Prison Project. Plaintiffs were seeking a declaratory judgment that their constitutional rights were being violated and an order to enjoin Defendants from subjecting them to unconstitutional conditions and practices.
In the complaint, plaintiffs asserted that the RDC, a maximum security prison where inmates are evaluated and classified before being transferred to a prison to serve their sentence, was operating at more than double its capacity, in part because the duration of an average stay had significantly increased. This crowding, plaintiffs claimed, resulted in an overtaxing of the facilities creating health and safety threats for the inmates. Additionally, plaintiffs claimed that basic services were not being provided. Specifically, they cited deficiencies in or the absence of adequate segregation policies, meaningful health care, recreational programming, visitation policies, and access an adequate legal library and religious services.
On July 5, 1991, a little more than a year after the complaint was filed, the district court (Judge Larry J. McKinney) approved for entry a settlement agreement between the parties. Lecclier v. Bayh, No. 90-1460 (S.D. Ind. July 5, 1991) (entry of settlement agreement). The agreement changed the polices relating to longer-term residents at the facility. Beginning July 1, 1991, non-cell areas were not to be used for housing inmates. A number of cells were to be set aside for longest-term inmates who maintained good conduct. Those inmates would have expanded privileges including more out-of-cell recreation time, the provision of more recreational materials, and increased telephone access. All inmates would receive more outdoor recreation time and equipment, access to an updated law library and the benefits of a written policy regarding the evaluation of separation of different classes of offenders. The agreement stated that visitation and medical care issues were had not been litigated or ruled upon by the court. Finally, the agreement gave the court jurisdiction over the case and implementation of the agreement for a two year period and provided that if plaintiffs did not allege noncompliance or defendants did not seek modification of the agreement, the case would close.
The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the July 5, 1991 court order.Sherrie Waldrup - 10/21/2005