Case: CRIPA Investigation, Los Angeles County (CA)

No Court Case | No Court

Filed Date: 1996

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding in progress

Case Summary

On June 6, 1996, the United States Department of Justice notified Los Angeles County Executive, Joanne Sturges, that it intended to investigate conditions in the Los Angeles County Jail system pursuant to the Civil Rights of the Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq. The investigation found that the jail was failing to provide care meeting constitutional standards to mentally ill inmates. A report summarizing the Department's findings was sent to Sturges on Septem…

On June 6, 1996, the United States Department of Justice notified Los Angeles County Executive, Joanne Sturges, that it intended to investigate conditions in the Los Angeles County Jail system pursuant to the Civil Rights of the Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq. The investigation found that the jail was failing to provide care meeting constitutional standards to mentally ill inmates.

A report summarizing the Department's findings was sent to Sturges on September 5, 1997. The report noted problems within the system, including the following:

Inmates entering the system were not adequately screened for mental illnesses. Officials relied on inmate self reporting and did not train staff to identify mentally ill inmates.

Inmates who were screened as mentally ill were not receiving evaluations for several days and prescription medications were taken from them.

General population inmates were not referred to a mental health professional until they reached crisis level.

Some mentally ill inmates were placed in twenty-three hour lockdown in inadequate housing, without access to activities and services available to other inmates, exacerbating their illnesses.

Some facilities for the mentally ill were dirty, dark, and crowded.

Suicide prevention procedures were inadequate, resulting in an increase in suicides within the previous years.

Mentally ill inmates faced a high risk of physical abuse or other mistreatment at the hands of other inmates or staff.

The report included a list of recommended remedial measures addressing the screening and treating of mentally ill inmates. The recommendations also included providing adequate and sanitary conditions for mentally ill inmates, providing access to recreation and other privileges, and promptly investigating reports of mistreatment or abuse of mentally ill prisoners. Other recommendations addressed record-keeping systems and suicide watch procedures.

On December 19, 2002, the parties reached a Memorandum of Agreement that required adequate mental health care and suicide and prevention at the Los Angeles County Jail System.

On June 4, 2014, the DOJ issued a letter stating that, since the entry of the Memorandum of Agreement twelve years ago, there had been significant improvement in the delivery of mental health services. However, serious systemic deficiencies remained with regard to some aspects of the Jails' mental health program.

As of April 18, 2015, we have no further information regarding this case.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (2/13/2006)

Jessica Kincaid (4/18/2015)

Related Cases

L.A. County Sheriff's Department (Kolts Report and Implementation), No Court (1992)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Birotte, Andre Jr. (California)

Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Eichner, James (District of Columbia)

Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)

Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Pinzler, Isabelle Katz (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Yang, Deborah W. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Birotte, Andre Jr. (California)

Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Eichner, James (District of Columbia)

Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)

Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Pinzler, Isabelle Katz (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Yang, Deborah W. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brazile, Kevin C. (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Kim, Beong-Soo (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Los Angeles County Jail

CRIPA Investigation

June 6, 1996 Notice Letter

Memorandum re: Findings Letter re: Los Angeles County Jail

CRIPA Investigation

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Aug. 14, 1997 Findings Letter/Report

Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States and Los Angeles County, California Regarding Mental Health Services at the Los Angeles County Jail

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Dec. 19, 2002 Settlement Agreement

RE: Mental Health Care and Suicide Prevention Practices at Los Angeles County Jails

June 4, 2012 Notice Letter

Docket

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1996

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Department of Justice

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

Los Angeles County Jail (Los Angeles), County

Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (Los Angeles), 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:

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: 2002 - 0

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Assault/abuse by staff

Classification / placement

Personal injury

Recreation / Exercise

Sanitation / living conditions

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Suicide prevention

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Suicide prevention

Type of Facility:

Government-run