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Case: DOJ Investigation of Nevada Youth Training Center, Elko, Nevada

01-1684613 | No Court

Filed Date: Dec. 6, 2001

Closed Date: March 17, 2008

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 6, 2001, the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") notified the State of Nevada, the Nevada Department of Human Resources, and the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services (collectively, "the State") of its intent to investigate the conditions of confinement at the Nevada Youth Training Center ("NYTC"), pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the pattern or practice provision of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act …

On December 6, 2001, the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") notified the State of Nevada, the Nevada Department of Human Resources, and the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services (collectively, "the State") of its intent to investigate the conditions of confinement at the Nevada Youth Training Center ("NYTC"), pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the pattern or practice provision of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. In its November 12, 2002 findings letter, the DOJ concluded that certain conditions at the facility violated the constitutional and statutory rights of youths confined therein. Specifically, the DOJ alleged violations related to the use of excessive force, inadequate grievance procedures, lack of procedural due process in the imposition of seclusion, improper screening of mail, inadequate mental health care and safety, and unsafe transportation.

The DOJ conducted its investigation by reviewing numerous facility records, interviewing current and former NYTC staff and youths, and touring the facility's buildings and grounds. From its investigation, the DOJ learned that NYTC staff frequently used excessive force against youths, including punching, kicking, shoving, slapping, and verbal abuse based on race or perceived sexual orientation. The DOJ also learned that NYTC was frequently understaffed and provided infrequent training, used isolation inappropriately as a form of summary punishment and in violation of its own procedures regarding disciplinary punishment, and did not provide adequate mental health screening and automatically discontinued youths' psychotropic medications upon their arrival. In its findings letter, the DOJ articulated a set of minimum remedial measures necessary for the State to follow to remedy the violations.

On February 26, 2004, the DOJ and the State entered a Memorandum of Understanding. The State agreed to develop and implement policies to limit the use of force to situations in which youths pose a risk of harm to themselves or others, enact a reliable process for youths to raise grievances, increase the number of facility staff and trainings, reform policies related to isolated confinement, and implement improved mental health care, among other reforms. The State also agreed to send status reports to the DOJ every 90 days regarding incidents related to these reforms, and any updates to the new policies. The parties agreed to meet and confer regarding whether the State was in full compliance with the provisions of the agreement two years from the date of signing. Per its website, the DOJ ended its oversight of NYTC on March 17, 2008.

Summary Authors

Nate West (10/26/2014)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Pyzel, Cynthia A. (Nevada)

Sandoval, Brian Edward (Nevada)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)

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

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judith (Judy) C. (District of Columbia)

Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)

Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Pyzel, Cynthia A. (Nevada)

Sandoval, Brian Edward (Nevada)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)

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

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judith (Judy) C. (District of Columbia)

Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)

Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Investigation of Nevada Youth Training Center, Elko, Nevada

DOJ Investigation of Nevada Youth Training Center, Elko, Nevada

Nov. 12, 2002

Nov. 12, 2002

Findings Letter/Report

01-1684613

Memorandum of Understanding by and between the United States and the State of Nevada

U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada

Feb. 23, 2004

Feb. 23, 2004

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 6, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Nevada

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 6, 2001

Closing Date: March 17, 2008

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States 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

State of Nevada, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, 34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

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

Order Duration: 2004 - 2008

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Reporting

Monitoring

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Confinement/isolation

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Excessive force

Failure to supervise

Failure to train

Grievance procedures

Juveniles

Mail

Restraints : physical

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Affected Gender:

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run