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Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Justice , Civil Rights Division
CFDA #: 16.105

Program accomplishments...

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA): covers public institutions, including prisons, jails, juvenile justice facilities, mental retardation facilities, psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes. The Section has open CRIPA investigations and cases involving approximately 170 facilities. Our work regarding about one third of those facilities is in the investigative stage, including 28 new investigations of 33 facilities initiated in FY 2002 and FY 2003. The Section also has undertaken a nursing home initiative to address constitutional violations in publicly operated nursing homes. From FY 1998 to date, we have settled over 95 percent of our CRIPA cases. In FY 2003 alone, the Section conducted more than 140 on-site inspections of institutions. In addition, we have resolved many investigations pre-suit because jurisdictions voluntarily corrected the problems. In FY 2002 and FY 2003, we obtained settlement agreements covering three facilities for persons with developmental disabilities; one mental health facility, one mental health community system, five juvenile justice facilities, one prison, and eleven jails. In addition, the Section continues to participate in a pre-CRIPA case regarding persons with developmental disabilities residing in approximately 200 community-based facilities in the District of Columbia. Police Misconduct: The Section continues to play a major role in promoting law enforcement management policies and practices that foster police integrity through its outreach, technical assistance and enforcement efforts under 42 U.S.C. 14141 and the Safe Streets Act. The Section has open investigations of 12 law enforcement agencies. The subject matter of the investigations usually includes allegations of a pattern or practice of excessive force or discriminatory policing tied to management deficiencies. The investigations are complex, usually requiring the review of voluminous records, extensive interviews, creation and analysis of sophisticated databases, and the use of police practices and other consultants. Investigations also include provision of technical assistance through the continuing identification of deficient policies and management practices and, in some instances, direct technical assistance presentations to agency personnel by our police practices consultants. In six of our seven lawsuits alleging a pattern or practice of police misconduct, consent decrees were negotiated and were lodged simultaneously with our complaints; the seventh lawsuit was ultimately resolved by an out of court settlement. In addition, eight other investigations have resulted in out-of-court settlements including police departments in Cincinnati, Ohio, the District of Columbia, and Prince George's County, Maryland. The settlements require the adoption and implementation of policies and procedures designed to prevent excessive force, improper searches and seizures, and other misconduct.