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Case: U.S. CRIPA investigation of Wilson County (TN) Jail

No Court

Filed Date: 2006

Closed Date: Aug. 6, 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Between June 27 and June 29, 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an investigation of the Wilson County Jail in Lebanon, Tennessee. The investigation was conducted under the authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"). In a letter dated April 11, 2007, the DOJ notified Wilson County Jail that the investigation had uncovered a pattern of Eighth Amendment violations at the facility. The jail had denied inmates basic medical care.…

Between June 27 and June 29, 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice conducted an investigation of the Wilson County Jail in Lebanon, Tennessee. The investigation was conducted under the authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA").

In a letter dated April 11, 2007, the DOJ notified Wilson County Jail that the investigation had uncovered a pattern of Eighth Amendment violations at the facility. The jail had denied inmates basic medical care. Corrections officers without medical training routinely made decisions about prisoners' access to medical treatment. The jail failed to screen inmates for medical problems or adequately prevent the spread of infectious diseases, which were exacerbated by unsanitary conditions. The investigation also reported excessive use of force by guards, including the fatal beating of an inmate in 2003—a group of Wilson guards were later convicted in a federal criminal trial—and routine coverups of excessive force by jail management. The letter recommended that the jail cure the constitutional issues by appointing a qualified medical doctor to oversee medical care and develop polices for preventing, reporting, and reviewing incidents of excessive force.

On July 21, 2008, the DOJ reached a settlement agreement with Wilson County Jail. The jail agreed to the DOJ's recommendations regarding the appointment of qualified medical personnel to oversee medical care and the implementation of improved use of force policies. The agreement stipulated that it would terminate in four years or when the facility had demonstrated two years of substantial compliance. The DOJ retained authority to inspect the facility and its records, with the jail to provide regular compliance reports.

According the DOJ's fiscal 2012 CRIPA report, the DOJ ended its supervision of Wilson County Jail on August 6, 2012, after the facility showed substantial compliance with the agreement.

Summary Authors

Nathaniel Flack (2/7/2019)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Gregg, Tammie (District of Columbia)

Jung, Je Yon (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

O'Brien, Paul M. (Tennessee)

Simons, Shaheena A (District of Columbia)

Simpson, Tammi R. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Gregg, Tammie (District of Columbia)

Jung, Je Yon (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

O'Brien, Paul M. (Tennessee)

Simons, Shaheena A (District of Columbia)

Simpson, Tammi R. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Investigation of the Wilson County Jail

Aug. 30, 2007

Aug. 30, 2007

Findings Letter/Report

Settlement Agreement

July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008

Settlement Agreement

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Tennessee

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2006

Closing Date: Aug. 6, 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

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

Wilson County Jail (Wilson County, Wilson), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Corrections

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:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2008 - 2012

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Reporting

Monitoring

Required disclosure

Training

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Excessive force

Failure to train

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Record-keeping

Sanitation / living conditions

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Totality of conditions

Medical/Mental Health:

HIV/AIDS

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Self-injurious behaviors

Suicide prevention

Type of Facility:

Government-run