Case: U.S. CRIPA investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

No Court

Filed Date: 2012

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In April 2011, the Department of Justice notified the St. Tammany Parish Government president regarding conditions at St. Tammany Parish Jail. The DOJ intended to investigate confinement conditions and possible violations of prisoners' constitutional rights in the jail pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. On June 20, 2011 the United States conducted an on-site inspection of the jail, inspecting mental health care facilities and jail capacity…

In April 2011, the Department of Justice notified the St. Tammany Parish Government president regarding conditions at St. Tammany Parish Jail. The DOJ intended to investigate confinement conditions and possible violations of prisoners' constitutional rights in the jail pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. On June 20, 2011 the United States conducted an on-site inspection of the jail, inspecting mental health care facilities and jail capacity to adequately address suicide prevention.

On July 12, 2012, the United States issued a findings letter under 42 U.S.C. § 1997 in which the DOJ concluded that specific conditions at the jail violated inmates eight and fourteenth amendment rights. The findings noted specific violations regarding: failure to provide adequate mental health screenings, assessments, treatment, and medication for prisoners with mental illness; grossly inadequate suicide prevention care; nursing staff not appropriately trained to identify or treat suicidal prisoners; jail staff not appropriately trained in suicide prevention; and a deficiency in the jails quality assurance program which examined suicide prevention and response to suicide attempts. The DOJ recommended comportment with constitutional requirements, detailing forty-four specific requirements the jail needed to meet.

In 2013, St. Tammany Jail and the DOJ entered into an agreement to resolve the issues stated in the 2012 letter before a CRIPA lawsuit was filed. The agreement consisted of specific areas where the jail would continue to improve care, and meet standards stipulated to by an independent auditor. Further, the jail was required to submit bi-annual compliance reports to the auditor and the DOJ detailing its compliance with the agreement. The agreement terminates following substantial compliance with each provision of the agreement and maintained that compliance for a period of one year.

On May 11, 2014, the independent monitor Reena Kapoor, MD, completed the initial report detailing the jail's compliance with the agreement. Of the 48 provisions listed in the agreement, the monitor noted 29 areas of substantial compliance, 17 areas of partial compliance, and 2 areas of non-compliance. Noted areas which need continued improvement were suicide prevention for female inmates, treatment plans, restraint and seclusion policy, Screening for mental illness prior to isolation placement, and basic mental health training for correctional officers. Further, the creation of a Mental Health Review Committee and the implementation of clinic audits of psychiatrist's clinical care was recommended.

On December 7, 2014, Dr. Kapoor released the second monitor's report. The report noted continued compliance with the agreement, and improvement from the first report. Of the 48 provisions listed in the agreement, 44 areas were being substantially complied with, and only 4 were classified as partially compliant.

The fifth and final monitor's report was filed on November 28, 2016. The report found only one area that the jail was in partial compliance with the initial agreement, and the remaining 47 where there was substantial compliance. Dr. Kapoor noted that the jail and Parish continued to do an excellent job complying with the agreement and adopting recommendations made. This is a marked improvement from the first monitoring report. No further reports have been made pursuant to this agreement.

Summary Authors

Edward Cullen (2/8/2019)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Sanders, Corey M. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Kapoor, Reena (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Sanders, Corey M. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Kapoor, Reena (Connecticut)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Re: United States' Investigation of the St. Tammany Parish Jail Pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Person Act

U.S. CRIPA Investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

July 12, 2012 Findings Letter/Report

Memorandum of Agreement

U.S. CRIPA Investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

Aug. 15, 2013 Settlement Agreement

Monitor's Report #1

U.S. CRIPA Investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

May 11, 2014 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Monitor's Report #2

U.S. CRIPA Investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

Dec. 7, 2014 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Monitor's Report #3

U.S. CRIPA Investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

July 5, 2015 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Monitor's Report #4

U.S. CRIPA Investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

Feb. 1, 2016 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Monitor's Report #5

U.S. CRIPA Investigation of St. Tammany Parish (LA) Jail

Nov. 28, 2016 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

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

St. Tammany Parish Jail, County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2013 - None

Content of Injunction:

Goals (e.g., for hiring, admissions)

Monitoring

Reporting

Training

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Failure to train

Suicide prevention

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, unspecified