In October 2002, prisoners confined at the Special Controls Facilities within the New Mexico State penal system filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of New Mexico against officials of the New Mexico Department of Corrections. Represented by the ACLU National Prison Project and ...
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In October 2002, prisoners confined at the Special Controls Facilities within the New Mexico State penal system filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of New Mexico against officials of the New Mexico Department of Corrections. Represented by the ACLU National Prison Project and other counsel, plaintiffs alleged that defendants did not provide adequate mental health care, used excessive force, and discouraged the filing of grievances. Plaintiffs also alleged that defendants' actions constituted violations of the Americans with Disabilities and Rehabilitation Acts. Just after the complaint was filed, the court consolidated a non-class action raising similar issues with this case. See Sandoval v. Lopez (PC-NM-0004).
On May 20, 2003, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. The agreement provided for expanded and improved mental health care, mental health screening, establishment of neuropsychological testing protocols, continued care for inmates released from the mental health unit, provision of addiction services, provision of paralegals to inmates, unrestricted phone calls from attorneys, staff training, inmate witnesses in disciplinary hearings, protocols for restoration of good time, education and programming, increased number of inmate beds, visitation, recreation, personal property allowances, mail, religious items, and classification procedures.
In June 2003, the District Court (Judge Bruce D. Black) granted plaintiffs' unopposed motion for dismissal with prejudice. The order for dismissal resolved all of the plaintiffs' claims, in both this and a related state court case. (D-0101-cv-100202294). (Subsequently, there was additional litigation in Sandoval, PC-NM-004, described in that case's litigation summary.)Kristen Sagar - 10/20/2007