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

Purpose of this program:

To initiate actions for redress in cases involving deprivations of rights of institutionalized persons secured and protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. To prevent any government from imposing a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person residing in or confined to a publicly operated institution. To provide equal utilization of any public facility owned or operated by any State or subdivision thereof, without regard to race, religion, or national origin. To obtain civil relief for certain violent, threatening, obstructive, and destructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with persons seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, or interfere with the First Amendment right of religious freedom, or destroy the property of a place of religious worship. To seek relief to redress a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers that deprives citizens of the United States of their constitutional rights.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

The Attorney General is authorized to initiate or intervene in actions for equitable relief on behalf of institutionalized persons residing in pubic institutions wherein a pattern or practice of egregious or flagrant conditions exists. Such institutions include: facilities for persons who are mentally ill or mentally retarded, nursing homes, prisons, jails, and juvenile detention and correctional facilities. The Attorney General may bring suit to protect the rights of persons in publicly operated institutions to be allowed to exercise their religion without substantial burdens being imposed by the public entity operating the institution. The Attorney General may also bring suit and request injunctive relief prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin in the operation of public facilities when he/she receives and certifies as meritorious a written complaint of such discrimination. The Attorney General is authorized to investigate and, where appropriate, initiate actions for relief from certain violent, threatening, obstructive, and destructive actions intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with persons seeking reproductive health services, or deny religious freedom, or destruction of property at places of religious worship. The Attorney General is authorized to investigate patterns or practices of conduct by law enforcement officials which deprive U.S. citizens of their constitutional rights, and may initiate civil actions for relief from such constitutional deprivations.

Who is eligible to apply...

Any person notifying the Attorney General of a pattern on violations of Federal rights of persons confined in a public institution in any State, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States. Any person notifying the Attorney General of violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). Any person notifying the Attorney General of pattern or practice conduct by law enforcement officers which deprive citizens of the U.S. of their constitutional rights under Section 14141.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Not applicable.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Contact the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Divisions, Special Litigation Section, Washington, DC 20530 or any United States Attorney's Office.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Not applicable.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Not applicable.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Not applicable.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Institutionalized persons confined in public facilities such as prisons, jails, mental health and mental retardation facilities, nursing homes, and juvenile correctional facilities where there is a pattern of unlawful conditions. Any persons in a publicly operated institution not allowed to exercise their religion because of substantial burdens imposed by the public entity operating the institution. Any persons who have been denied access to or the ability to provide clinic reproductive health services, or has been denied religious freedom, or suffered the destruction of property at a place of religious worship. Any persons who, as a part of a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers, have been deprived of their constitutional rights.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Provision of Specialized Services

Programs which provide Federal personnel directly to perform certain tasks for the benefit of communities or individuals. These services may be performed in conjunction with nonfederal personnel, but they involve more than consultation, advice, or counseling.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Salaries and Expenses) FY 03 $9,799,000; FY 04 est $10,034,000; and FY 05 est $10,056,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

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.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Not applicable.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


Not applicable.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Not applicable.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Public Law 96-247, 42 U.S.C. 1997; Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. 2000cc-1; Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title III; Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 18 U.S.C 248; Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Section 210401, 42 U.S.C. 14141; Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 3789d.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

28 C.F.R. 0.50, Summary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 45 C.F.R. Part 84.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office


Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, Washington, DC 20530. Telephone: (202) 514-6255. Contact: Office of Public Affairs. Telephone: (Voice) (202) 514-2007; (TDD) (202) 514-1888.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: