AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities
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A federal court
has approved an almost $18 million settlement to approximately 1,600 teenagers
and their parents who claimed that the young people were wrongfully incarcerated
at two for-profit youth detention centers by two county judges who were
accused of taking over $2 million in payments from the real estate developer
who built the facilities. Over 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by one
of the judgers were thrown out based on evidence that he frequently tried
juveniles without lawyers and routinely sent many to the juvenile facilities
for months for the most petty of offenses. The two judges are accused of
receiving money from the developer and extorting funds from the facilities'
co-owner. Around $4.3 million in attorneys' fees is to be paid, with most
of the juveniles receiving between $500 and $5,000. Dawn v. Ciavarella,
#3:10-cv-00797, U.S. Dist. Court (M.D. Pa.), reported in The Times Herald,
Norristown, Pa. (January 10, 2013).
The U.S. Supreme Court held that mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile murderers violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling came in two consolidated cases of juveniles given such sentences after being convicted of murder at the age of 14. Miller v. Alabama, #10-9646, 2012 U.S. Lexis 4877.
In three consolidated appeals by juveniles who had pled guilty to aggravated sexual abuse of children, a federal appeals court rejected their claims objecting to conditions of probation or supervision requiring them to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 18 U.S.C. Chapter 109. Applying the registration requirements to juveniles does not violate equal protection of law, procedural or substantive due process, constitute cruel and unusual punishment, or violate the right against self-incrimination. Congress intentionally exempted the registration of juvenile sex offenders from the confidentiality provisions of the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (FJDA), 18 U.S.C. Sec 5031 et seq. U.S. v. Juvenile Male, #09-30330, 670 F.3d 999 (9th Cir. 2012).
Because a county jail did not have the resources to adequately handle pregnancy-related medical emergencies, a pregnant minor stated a claim for deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs by alleging that personnel there failed to rush her to a hospital when she began having labor pains, and that she was not seen by a doctor until seven hours later. She was subsequently taken to a hospital, but then returned to the jail, where her baby was born, suffering various birth defects including severe mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Havard v. Wayne County, #09-1235, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 17404 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment bars the sentencing of a juvenile offender to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for any crime short of homicide. In this case, the offender was 16 when he committed armed burglary and another crime. He was sentenced to probation, with adjudication of guilt withheld, but was later found to have violated probation by committing additional crimes, found guilty of the earlier offenses, and sentenced to life in prison. The sentence left him with no possibility of release except executive clemency, since Florida, where he was sentenced, has abolished its parole system for prisoners sentenced after 1983. Graham v. Florida, #08–7412, 2010 U.S. Lexis 3881.
When detainee-on-detainee violence was "very rare" and there was no prior complaint by a detainee of sexual assault at the juvenile detention facility, a juvenile detainee allegedly raped by another detainee failed to show deliberate indifference to the risk of such an assault. Officers' alleged failure to provide assistance to the plaintiff detainee might constitute negligence, but was hardly deliberate indifference. The defendant juvenile detention officers, however, did not have discretion under state law to leave a detainee at the facility unsupervised, but allegedly did "exactly that," so that they were not entitled to "state agent immunity" under Alabama law on state law negligence, recklessness, and wantonness claims. D.S. v. County of Montgomery, Alabama, No. 07-15671, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 14237 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
Nurse was not entitled to summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity in a lawsuit accusing her of deliberate indifference to risk of suicide of detainee at youth correctional facility. The deceased youth's parents claimed that the nurse was aware that their son had a history of suicide attempts and bipolar disorder, but failed to put him on suicide watch or to complete a form that would have notified other facility staff that he was a suicide risk, resulting in him committing suicide hours later. The nurse claimed that the youth appeared "happy" during the intake process. Matis v. Johnson, No. 07-30104, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 2086 (5th Cir.).
Federal appeals court rejects a claim by 17-year-old public school student convicted and incarcerated in Maryland who alleged that the District of Columbia violated an agreement to provide him with special education services in the Maryland prison, pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1412(a). The Maryland prison allegedly did not allow access to the prisoner for the purposes of providing those services, and the appeals court found that the trial court acted erroneously in ruling that the agreement provided that the District would provide those promised special education services after the prisoner's release from custody if access to the Maryland prison could not be obtained. Maryland, instead, provided the plaintiff with its own special education services, and the plaintiff sought compensatory services from D.C. to make up for the time he spent in the Maryland prison without services from D.C., even though he received such services in prison from Maryland. The appeals court, overturning a decision by the trial court, ruled that the now released prisoner was not entitled to additional special education services from D.C. Hester v. DC, No. 06-7102, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 24415 (D.C. Cir.).
Female juvenile adjudicated delinquent did not show that her federal constitutional or statutory rights were violated by the fact that a community corrections facility near her home did not accept females, resulting in her having to serve 11 months in a juvenile correctional facility and a drug rehabilitation center that were further away. Her constitutional rights were not violated because she was provided with opportunities comparable to those provided for male inmates. The decision made by her family members not to drive to the facility where she was incarcerated for attendance at family therapy sessions did not alter the fact that family therapy was offered. Additionally for purposes of federal civil rights statutes prohibiting sex discrimination in a governmental "program or activity," the "program or activity" at issue was the entire system of juvenile institutions operated by the State of Ohio, rather than a particular juvenile facility. Lothes v. Butler County Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, No. 06-3389, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 16559 (6th Cir.).
Federal appeals court upholds award of $200,000 in compensatory and $797,160 in punitive damages to parent whose son was murdered in a residential program for juvenile delinquents. By the end of 1999, four youths had been murdered while in the same juvenile facility, provided by a private company for the District of Columbia. The plaintiff's son became the fifth in 2000. The plaintiff had argued that the company that operated the facility acted in a reckless manner in failing to protect the decedent against a foreseeable risk of harm, and violated his constitutional rights, and the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on both claims. Muldrow v. Re-Direct, Inc., No. 05-7169, 2007 U.S. App. Lexus 15814 (D.C. Cir.).
California intermediate court issues order setting aside juvenile court policy of having sheriff's department shackle all minors during court prisoners without a case-by-case determination of the need for such restraints. In making such a determination, factors to be considered included the type of proceeding, courtroom or security considerations, and the behavior and conduct of the juvenile. Tiffany A. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. B193134, 2007 Cal. App. Lexis 783 (Cal. App. 2nd Dist.).
Correctional officials were entitled to qualified immunity in lawsuit brought by juvenile detainee allegedly subjected to strip searches under policy allowing such searches without reasonable suspicion of possession of contraband, as the law on the subject was not clearly established in the context of a juvenile facility. Doe v. Preston, Civil Action No. 03-11804, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6871 (D. Mass.). [N/R]
Mother of youthful incarcerated son with alleged disabilities, including emotional problems, and auditory and visual hallucinations, as well as other mental health concerns, could not pursue claims for money damages under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq. regarding educational services required to be provided to him, when she failed to show that she provided any educational expenses for her son. Court also rules that neither the Alabama Department of Youth Services (ADYS) nor its employees could be held liable for allegedly not providing the juvenile with services to which he was allegedly entitled under the Americans with Disabilities Ac (ADA), 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12112(a), as the Department and the individual defendants sued in their official capacities were entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity, and the individuals could not be sued in their individual capacities under ADA. McReynolds v. Alabama Department of Youth Services, No. 2:04-CV-850, 426 F. Supp. 2d 1247 (M.D. Ala. 2006). [N/R]
Requiring a female juvenile to remove her outer clothing when entering a juvenile detention facility after arrest for a curfew violation did not constitute a full strip search and was not unreasonable, given the state's role as a "substitute parent" for such juveniles in its custody. Further, in 1999, at the time of the search, the case law on the subject was not "clearly established. Smook v. Minnehaha County, No. 05-1363, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 20382 (8th Cir.). [2006 JP Oct]
Juvenile facility in Hawaii ordered to take steps to remedy "pervasive" sexual, physical, and verbal abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender juvenile wards, and to stop, except in emergencies, using isolation as a means of "protecting" such wards against abuse and harassment. Court rejects, however, the claim that staff members violated the First Amendment rights of the juveniles by quoting from the Bible or discussing religion with them, when there was no evidence that these actions were based on the facility's policies. R.G. v. Koller, No. Civ.05-00566, 415 F. Supp. 2d 1129 (D. Hawaii 2006). Subsequent decision at 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 21254. [2006 JB Jun]
Federal appeals court upholds injunction requiring the provision of both general educational services and special educational services for school age inmates incarcerated in New York City jails, based on the failure to comply with federal law. Portions of the injunction based on alleged violations of state law, the court held, were beyond the power of the federal trial court. City defendants had previously waived a defense of failure to exhaust available administrative remedies by stating that no such remedies were applicable to the claims made in the class action lawsuit. Handberry v. Thompson, No. 03-0047, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1062 (2d Cir.). [2006 JB Mar]
Mother of youth murdered while in the custody of a contractors for the District of Columbia Youth Services Administration, was awarded $997,161 in compensatory and punitive damages on civil rights and negligence claims. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant's failure to monitor the youth's medication and whereabouts, to connect him with court ordered mental health and substance abuse services, or to properly care for him caused his death. Court rules that plaintiff was also entitled to an award of $398,490.75 in attorneys' fees and $22,528.30 in costs. Court rejected argument that it was unreasonable to spend 96 hours preparing opposition to the defendant's motion for summary judgment, but did rule that a 25% reduction in requested hourly rates was justified when the same evidence was presented on both the civil rights and negligence claims and the requested attorneys' fee award would otherwise have amounted to almost 54% of the damage award. Muldrow v. Re-Direct, Inc., No. CIV. A. 01-2537, 397 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2005). [N/R]
Federal appeals court upholds $72,000 award against District of Columbia in lawsuit over murder of juvenile delinquent in juvenile detention "independent living" apartment by unknown assassin with a silencer-equipped gun. Evidence showed that the District adopted no standards whatsoever for selection of a private contractor to run the program, and had no standards for monitoring the program's performance. Security at the apartments was allegedly inadequate and no additional security measures were allegedly taken after another youth living there was mugged and robbed by an armed assailant in his apartment. Smith v. District of Columbia, No. 03-7143, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 13288 (D.C. Cir.). [2005 JB Aug]
D.C. trial c lacked jurisdiction to order the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide educational services to a youthful offender after he was transferred to BOP custody and outside of the District of Columbia. U.S. v. Crockett, No. 03-C0-749, 861 A.2d 604 (D.C. 2004). [N/R]
Juvenile pre-trial detainee's rights were not violated by his incarceration in adult county jail when it was done in compliance with Michigan state law and he was kept segregated from adult prisoners. Conditions he faced in lock-down were not punitive but were justified by a legitimate interest in preventing his possible suicide. Federal appeals court further finds that his due process rights were not violated by his loss of credit in alternative education program following his arrest and detention or by the program's refusal to re-enroll him after his release. Daniels v. Woodside, No. 03-2053, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 1127 (6th Cir.). [2005 JB Mar]
Alleged policy of county juvenile detention facility of strip-searching all those admitted there, even in the absence of reasonable suspicion of possession of weapons or contraband could not be justified on the basis of a state statutory duty to report child abuse or neglect, and would constitute an unreasonable search of non-felony detainees without such reasonable suspicion. Court also holds that a strip search of one such juvenile detainee taken into custody for a curfew violation did not become sufficiently "non-intrusive" merely because she was permitted to keep her underwear on. Smook v. Minnehaha County, No. Civ. 00-4202, 340 F. Supp. 2d 1037 (D.S.D. 2004). [N/R]
California enters into consent decree concerning improvement of numerous conditions in its youth correctional facilities. Farrell v. Allen, No. RG 03079344 (Superior Court of California, Alameda County 2004). [2005 JB Jan]
Federal appeals court rules that strip searches performed on young girls following their entry into custody in juvenile detention centers were constitutional on the basis of the special need to protect them and other children in the facility, but that "repetitive" strip searches conducted while the juveniles remained in custody are violative of the Fourth Amendment unless there is reasonable suspicion that the juvenile possesses contraband. N.G. v. State of Connecticut, No. 02-9274, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 18834 (2nd Cir. 2004). [2004 JB Oct]
A county juvenile training facility was not entitled to Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity against liability in a federal civil rights lawsuit concerning the alleged failure to adequately train employees and failure to investigate and prevent sexual abuse committed against one juvenile resident by another. The facility was not an arm of the state, because the county rather than the state would be responsible for paying any damage award against the facility, even though the facility was built pursuant to a state statutory scheme concerning juveniles found to be delinquent, dependent, abused, unruly or neglected, as well as juvenile traffic offenders. S.J. v. Hamilton County, Ohio, No. 02-3852, 374 F.3d 416 (6th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
While requiring a convicted youth offender to perform military-style exercises at a one-day "boot camp" was not cruel and unusual punishment, the claim that camp officials waited almost two hours before summoning an ambulance for the minor, who was unconscious and vomiting while suffering heat stroke, if true, was sufficient to constitute deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Austin v. Johnson, #02-41137, 328 F.3d 204 (5th Cir. 2003). [2003 JB Aug]
City liable under state law for alleged rape of 16-year-old female juvenile doing court mandated community service by inmate-trustee working for the city. Trial court properly assessed city as 70% negligent and inmate-trustee as 30% at fault when city had an obligation to supervise the inmate-trustee, but knowingly allowed the teenage victim to work with him in a situation where they were left alone. City liable for 70% of $153,365.64 general damage award, but no liability found for damages or attorneys fees under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 and 1988. Ashmore v. Hilton, No. 02-816, 834 So. 2d 1131 (La. App. 2002), rehearing denied (2003). [N/R]
A state training school for juveniles constituted a "correctional facility" under provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997e(d)(1)(A), limiting the awards of attorneys' fees in cases challenging prison conditions of confinement to those directly and reasonably incurred in "proving an actual violation" of protected rights. Class of juvenile inmates was not a "prevailing party" entitled to $376,637.48 award of attorneys' fees and costs under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988 when the court order approving a settlement of the claims incorporated none of the specific terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties. Christina A. v. Bloomberg, #01-3698, 315 F. 3d 990 (8th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
Officer was entitled to qualified immunity for conducting warrantless strip searches of five minors at juvenile home suspected of possession of drugs. Reynolds v. City of Anchorage, 225 F. Supp. 2d 754 (W.D. Ken. 2002). [2003 JB Mar.]
In lawsuit alleging that officer at juvenile correctional facility sexually assaulted a male minor prisoner, there was good cause to postpone the deposition of the minor plaintiff for a short time until after his release from custody in order to protect the minor from the possibility of further psychological harm. Williams v. Greenlee, 210 F.R.D. 577 (N.D. Tex. 2002). [N/R]
Youth adjudicated a juvenile delinquent did escape from a "detention facility" within the meaning of a New York criminal statute, McKinney's Penal Law Sec. 205.10, subd. 1, when he jumped out of the window of a cabin at a camp operated by the N.Y. State Division for Youth. People v. Juarbe, 749 N.Y.S.2d 665 (Sup. 2002). [N/R]
Settlement for confidential amount reached in wrongful death lawsuit by mother of child who died at reformatory camp when the 80-pound boy was allegedly crushed by a 300-pound counselor laying on top of him for five to ten minutes to restrain him after he got into a fight with another child. The 12-year-old had been ordered to attend the camp by juvenile courts. Ibarra v. Eckerd Youth Alternative Inc., No. 00-1159-CA (Marion County, Fla. Circuit Court), reported in The National Law Journal, p. B4 (July 15, 2002). [N/R]
Mother of juvenile detainee allegedly sexually assaulted and abused by warden in juvenile detention facility did not show that alleged assault was caused by the failure of state employees to mention warden's prior marijuana conviction when writing letters of reference to obtain warden position. Warden had previously received a pardon on that conviction from the governor and the conviction had been effectively expunged, with a criminal records search not revealing it. K.S., v. Summers, No. 2001 CW 0794, 799 So. 2d 510 (La. App. 2001) [2002 JB Mar]
298:158 Nebraska state statute mandating parental notification of juvenile detention did not impose liability on county and sheriff's deputies, based on failure to do so, for juvenile's subsequent suicide after his release from custody. Claypool v. Hibberd, #S-99-1223, 626 N.W.2d 539 (Neb. 2001).
273:136 State of Arizona reaches $725,000 wrongful death settlement with husband of woman killed during assault by their 17-year-old paroled son; lawsuit argued that parole was improper, that parole should have been revoked because of various misconduct, and that drug and anger counseling should have been conditions of parole. Janecke v. State, Ariz., Maricopa Co. Super. Ct., No. CV96-06697, Sept. 24, 1998, reported in 42 ATLA Law Rptr. 185 (June 1999).
267:46 Co. liable for $8,000 in damages and $34,824.92 in attorneys' fees and costs to 15-year-old detainee raped and beaten by cellmates after guard allegedly told them he was a "snitch"; jury could properly find that overcrowding of juvenile prisoners created dangerous situation; Prison Litigation Reform Act's limits on attorneys' fees awards did not apply since juvenile was not a prisoner when he filed suit after leaving jail. Doe v. Washington Co., #97-3969, 98-1126, 150 F.3d 920 (8th Cir. 1998).
259:110 Update: Indiana Supreme Court overturns ruling that state constitutional provision prohibits juvenile offenders from being incarcerated in adult correctional facilities. Ratliff v. Cohn, 693 N.E.2d 530 (Ind. 1998).
254:30 Indiana state constitutional provision prohibits juvenile offenders being incarcerated in adult correctional facilities, state appeals court rules. Ratliff v. Cohn, 679 N.E.2d 985 (Ind. App. 1997).
243:46 Prisoners in protective custody in youth correctional facility stated a claim for cruel and unusual punishment based on double celling combined with other conditions and assertion that they were subject to sexual assaults in cells which correctional officials failed to prevent; claim also stated for denial of access to courts based on alleged lack of paralegals to help with claims other than disciplinary cases. Nami v. Fauver, 82 F.3d 63 (3rd Cir. 1996).
221:73 Alleged violation of federal statute in placing juvenile detainee in adult jail was not proximate cause of his suicide attempt; federal appeals court rejects argument that juvenile detainees, as a class, are specially susceptible to suicidal tendencies and therefore should be specially screened. Horn v. Madison Co. Fiscal Court, 22 F.3d 653 (6th Cir. 1994).
$105,575 awarded for sexual assault on juvenile detainee by fellow detainee. Dept. of Health & Rehab. Serv. v. Whaley, 531 So.2d 723 (Fla. App. 1988).
West Virginia Supreme Court holds that prisoners between 18 and 20 years of age under jurisdiction of juvenile court may not be held within sight or sound of adult prisoners. State ex rel. M.L.N. v. Greiner, 360 S.E.2d 554 (W. Va. 1987).
Juvenile not entitled to hearing before transfer to county jail. Cooper v. Elrod, 622 F.Supp. 373 (D.C. Ill. 1985).
Defendants given second chance to support prolonged isolation against testimony in favor of only the briefest period for isolation. Santana v. Collazo, 793 F.2d 41 (1st Cir. 1986).
U.S. Supreme Court allows for pretrial detention of juveniles. Schall v. Martin, 104 S.Ct. 2403 (1984).
Juvenile properly placed in most secure facility. Matter of Katherine W., 468 N.E.2d 29 (N.Y. 1984). Extensive discussion of procedures of juvenile justice system and conditions of confinement. Morales v. Turman, 596 F.Supp. 332 (E.D. Tex. 1983).
Pretrial detention of juveniles was improper; juveniles not provided same criminal procedural rights as adults. R.W.T. v. Dalton, 712 F.2d 1225 (8th Cir. 1983); on appeal from 540 F.Supp. 772 (E.D. Mo. 1982).
State juvenile pretrial detention statute subject to constitutional attack in federal court under Section 1983; discharged juveniles have standing and are not required to exhaust state remedies. Colesman v. Stanziani, 570 F.Supp. 679 (E.D. Pa. 1983).
Behavioral modification program in private school violated constitutional rights of students. Milonas v. Williams, 691 F.2d 931 (10th Cir. 1982).
Juveniles awaiting trial cannot be confined in adult jails as punishment; conditions of confinement must meet constitutional standards. D.B. v. Tewksbury, 545 F.Supp. 896 (D. Ore. 1982).
Pretrial detention of juveniles held unconstitutional. Martin v. Strasburg, 689 F.2d 365 (2nd Cir. 1982).
Puerto Rico Federal Court reviews commonwealth's juvenile facilities and finds them basically sound. Santana v. Collazo, 533 F.Supp. 966 (D.P.R. 1982).
Third Circuit rules that youth corrections act may provide basis for damages under the Fifth Amendment due process clause. Micklus v. Carlson, 632 F.2d 227 (3rd Cir. 1980).
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