Case: CRIPA investigation of Cresson and Penn. DOC (solitary confinement)

No Court

Filed Date: 2013

Closed Date: 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 30, 2011, the Department of Justice opened this investigation into conditions of confinement at the State Correctional Institution in Cresson, Pennsylvania, under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. On May 31, 2013, the DOJ issued findings, concluding that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' (PDOC) use of long-term and extreme forms of solitary confinement on prisoners with serious mental illness at Cresson, many of whom also have intellectual disabilities, vi…

On November 30, 2011, the Department of Justice opened this investigation into conditions of confinement at the State Correctional Institution in Cresson, Pennsylvania, under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. On May 31, 2013, the DOJ issued findings, concluding that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' (PDOC) use of long-term and extreme forms of solitary confinement on prisoners with serious mental illness at Cresson, many of whom also have intellectual disabilities, violated their rights under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The DOJ then expanded the investigation statewide, focusing on similar issues. On February 24, 2014, the DOJ issued findings concluding that PDOC was violating the rights of prisoners under the Eighth Amendment and the ADA statewide across Pennsylvania's 26 prisons.

On April 14, 2016, the DOJ announced the close of its investigation into the PDOC following significant improvements made by PDOC to its policies and practices that were intended to protect prisoners with serious mental illness and intellectual disabilities from the harmful effects of solitary confinement. PDOC had worked to ensure that prisoners with serious mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities were no longer subjected to solitary confinement and were instead provided with specialized treatment to meet their individualized needs.

Summary Authors

Jessica Kincaid (4/22/2016)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Hickton, David J. (Pennsylvania)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Hickton, David J. (Pennsylvania)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

DOJ Investigation Announcement Notice

CRIPA Investigation of the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institutions

Dec. 1, 2011

Dec. 1, 2011

Press Release

Re: Investigation of the State Correctional Institution at Cresson and Notice of Expanded Investigation

CRIPA Investigation of the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Cresson

May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

Findings Letter/Report

Re: Investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Use of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness and/or Intellectual Disabilities

CRIPA Investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Feb. 24, 2014

Feb. 24, 2014

Findings Letter/Report

Re: Investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Use of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness and/or Intellectual Disabilities

CRIPA Investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

April 14, 2016

April 14, 2016

Correspondence

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Solitary confinement

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2013

Closing Date: 2016

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, to enforce the rights of prisoners with disabilities in Pennsylvania.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)

Disability:

Mental impairment

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run