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In 1991 the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation of the Pine Hills School for Boys pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act 42 U.S. § 1997 et seq. Following two site visits in December 1991 and January 1992, the Justice Department issued a findings letter on September 28, 1992, which concluded that the conditions and policies at the facility violated the constitutional rights of the confined juveniles. The investigation revealed that there were not sufficient security personnel in place for adequate supervision, and as a result juveniles engaged in such dangerous activities as the inhalation of cleaning supplies, among other things. The fire safety precautions in the buildings, and cleanliness in the living and food service areas were deficient. The mental health care provided was inadequate; there was no psychiatric supervision of the medical services, the use of psychotropic medications was not consistent with generally accepted standards, and there was a high risk of suicide among the juveniles. Additionally, the investigation uncovered the misuse of seclusion after the inappropriate behavior of the juvenile had been adjusted, and the arbitrary imposition of discipline without appropriate monitoring.
The Department of Justice stated that remedial measures needed to be taken to ensure the constitutional rights of the confined juveniles. Those measures included the improvement of security measures and supervision of juveniles to ensure reasonably safe conditions were provided, the elimination of fire safety and sanitation hazards, the development and implementation of a mental health care system to meet the serious needs of the juveniles, the revision of standards for the use of seclusion, restraint, and the imposition of discipline, and the granting of access to telephones and writing materials that were required by constitutional standards.
We have no additional information on this investigation, or any communications or proceedings that may have followed.
Kristen Sagar (11/8/2007)
Dunne, John R. (Montana)
Poppler, Doris Swords (Montana)
Racicot, Marc (Montana)
Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:40 p.m.Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.
State / Territory: Montana
Case Ongoing: No
United States Department of Justice
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
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Prevailing Party: Unknown
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