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J.H. v. Hinds County

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

March 30, 2018

J.H. AND DISABILITY RIGHTS MISSISSIPPI PIAINTIFFS
v.
HINDS COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI DEFENDANT

          Paloma Wu Counsel for the Plaintiffs Mississippi Bar No. 105464 Southern Poverty Law Center

          Pieter Teeuwissen Counsel for the Defendant Mississippi Bar No. 8777 Simon & Teeuwissen PLLC

          Joi L. Owens Counsel for the Plaintiffs Mississippi Bar No, 104529 Disability Rights Mississippi

          SECOND AMENDED CONSENT DECREE

          Hon. Daniel P. Jordan, III United States District Judge

         On June 1, 2011, Plaintiffs filed suit challenging the conditions of confinement at Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center ("Henley-Young"). Defendant responded to the Complaint and denied all the allegations. Plaintiffs and Defendant, without any admission on behalf of either, agreed that it was in the best interests of all parties to resolve this matter amicably without further litigation and cost to the taxpayers of Hinds County, Mississippi. The parties therefore negotiated a "Settlement Agreement" (later determined by the district court to be a consent decree), which was entered in March 2012, extended in April 2014, and amended then extended in March 2016 until March 28, 2018. The parties agree to extend the consent decree for an additional year, up to and including March 28, 2019.

         This Second Amended Consent Decree is not to be construed as an admission of any liability or violation of law by the Defendant. The parties agreed in 2012 to the consent decree's provisions to resolve this litigation. Now', the parties wish to extend certain provisions and to eliminate others. The parties also wish to modify one provision.

         The term "Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center''' (or the like) hereinafter refers collectively to Hinds County and its Board of Supervisors. This Second Amended Consent Decree and its specific requirements shall apply fully to Henley-Young and to any contractors that may provide services to Henley-Young in the future. The term "youth" hereinafter refers to individuals confined at Henley-Young. The parties understand that the requirements herein will be implemented without undue delay as soon as practicable. Unless otherwise indicated herein, the parties will collaborate to make all reasonable efforts to ensure that within 90 days of the effective date of this agreement., policies and procedures consistent with this agreement are drafted, in the process of being implemented, and that all detention staff receives training on the requirements of this agreement. The parties agree and understand that implementation will be an ongoing process that extends beyond the initial 90 days of this agreement. The parties further agree to the following:

1. This agreement will terminate at the end of one year. If the Court makes written findings based on the record that prospective relief remains necessary after one year to correct a current and ongoing violation of federal rights, this agreement shall not terminate. See 18 U.S.C. § 3626(b)(3).
2. The parties stipulate that nothing in this Second Amended Consent Decree constitutes an admission of liability and furthermore, the Defendant denies that it has provided deficient services in any category that is referenced below in this Second Amended Consent Decree.
3. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Second Amended Consent Decree, the parties stipulate that the remedies contained in this document are necessary to correct an ongoing violation of a federal right, extend no further than necessary to correct the violation of federal right, and that the prospective relief is narrowly drawn and is the least intrusive means to correct the violations.
4. It is the intent of the parties that the Court will retain ongoing jurisdiction over this Second Amended Consent Decree for purposes of enforcement, pursuant to the terms of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. All provisions of this Second Amended Consent Decree shall he interpreted to be consistent with this intent. In the event that the Court determines that it does not have jurisdiction over this Second Amended Consent Decree for purposes of enforcement, the parties agree to modify the Second Amended Consent Decree to the least extent necessary to ensure ongoing federal court jurisdiction.

         I. INTAKE

         1.1 Hinds County denies that the current intake procedure at Henley-Young is deficient in any manner. However, the parties agree that henceforth: All youth admitted to Henley-Young shall receive a health screening, within 1 hour of admission or as soon as possible as reasonably thereafter, by appropriately trained staff as required by Mississippi Code Annotated § 43-21-321. "Information obtained during the screening shall include, but shall not be limited to, the juvenile's: (a) Mental health; (b) Suicide risk; (c) Alcohol and other drug use and abuse; (d) Physical health; (e) Aggressive behavior; (f) Family relations; (g) Peer relations; (h) Social skills; (i) Educational status; and (j) Vocational status." Miss. Code Ann. § 43-21-321(1). During this screening, Henley-young shall obtain information regarding the youth's educational status by having the youth or intake officer complete an education screening form developed and provided by the Jackson Public School District. Additionally, the parties agree that Provision 1.1 implicitly necessitates Henley-Young to require a valid MYCIDS order before, a youth can be admitted. The parties also agree that Provision 1.1 implicitly prohibits Henley-Young from admitting a status offender to Henley-Young without full compliance with the Mississippi Code. The parties agree that, in the absence of a valid MYCIDS order and full compliance with the Mississippi Code, a youth cannot be admitted to Henley-Young, and that such youth's admission must be denied.

         1.2 Hinds County denies that Henley-Young failed to conduct mental health screenings of juveniles admitted to the facility in accordance with Mississippi Code Annotated § 43-21-321. The parties agree, however, that henceforth; All youth shall receive a MAYSI-2 mental health screening upon admission, as required by Mississippi Code Annotated § 43-21-321. The screening will be conducted in private by appropriately trained staff of Henley-Young. If the screening indicates that the youth is in need of emergency medical care or mental health intervention including, but not limited to, major depression, suicidal ideation, withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, or trauma, the detention staff shall refer those juveniles to the proper health care facility or community mental health service provider for further evaluation immediately or as soon as reasonably possible.

         1.3 Prescription medications will be secured for all youth who have a valid, current prescription within 8 hours of admission, if possible, but in no case, longer than 24 hours after admission, including weekends and holidays. If during a youth's detention, a medical professional either prescribes a new medication or renews a youth's previous prescription medication, Henley-Young will secure the prescription medication within 8 hours of receiving the prescription, if possible, but in no case, longer than 24 hours after receiving the new prescription, including weekends and holidays. Henley-Young shall procure and/or purchase all prescription medications prescribed to confined youth.

         1.4 Meal Compliance: Eliminated by agreement of the parties in March 2016.

         1.5 Telephone Usage: Eliminated by agreement of the parties in March 2016.

         1.6 Hinds County denies that Henley-Young docs not have in place a valid strip search policy. Within 60 days of the date of this agreement, Henley-Young shall develop and implement policies that limit strip searches to instances where Henley-Young staff has an articulable suspicion that a youth may possess weapons or contraband. Anytime a strip search is conducted, Henley-Young staff must document, in writing, their suspicion, obtain permission from a supervisor, and conduct the search in a manner that minimizes the intrusion into the youth's privacy.

         II. STAFFING AND OVERCROWDING

         2.1 Modified by agreement of the parties in March 2018. Hinds County denies that there are staffing issues and overcrowding at Henley-Young. However, the parties agree that Henley-Young shall ensure that there are sufficient numbers of adequately trained direct care and supervisory staff to supervise youth safely, protect youth from harm, allow youth reasonable access to medical and mental health services, and allow youth adequate time to participate in out-of-cell activities. Within 90 days of the date of this agreement, Henley-Young shall operate with a direct care staff to youth ratio of 1:8 from the hours of 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and a ratio of 1:10 from the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Additionally, the parties acknowledge the November 3, 2014 Hinds County Board of Supervisors' Resolution Regarding the Henley-Young Detention Center providing that Henley-Young shall not house any youth under youth court jurisdiction for more than 21 days. The parties also agree that Henley-Young is a short-term facility not designed to hold residents for longer than 21 days. In light of the facility's nature and the Board of Supervisors' Resolution, the parties agree that Provision 2.1 necessarily requires Henley-Young to discharge youth under youth court jurisdiction on or before his/her 21st day at Henley-Young. The parties agree that henceforth the 21. day time limit requiring discharge and refusal of admission of youth will not apply to juveniles charged as adults. The parties further agree that Provision 2.1 requires Henley-Young to refuse admission to any youth who is sentenced to a period of greater than 21 days. The parties further agree that Provision 2.1 requires that any time spent off-site in a state of detention (including but not limited to at a psychiatric residential treatment facility) must be counted toward a youth's detention stay. The parties further agree that Provision 2. i necessarily requires Henley-Young to adhere to the monitor's recommended 32-resident capacity limit on average daily population, and that Henley-Young cannot exceed an average daily-population of 32 residents, and that any admission that would require an ADP in excess of 32 residents must be denied.

         2.2 Maximum Capacity Adjustment: Eliminated by agreement of the parties in March 2016.

         2.3 One-Person Cell: Eliminated by agreement of the parties in March 2016.

         III. CELL CONFINEMENT

         3.1 Hinds County denies that youth are confined in their cells without engaging in structured, rehabilitative, and educational programming. The parties agree, however, that henceforth: Youth shall be engaged in structured, rehabilitative, and educational programming outside of their cells during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. each day. including weekends and holidays.

         3.2 Except when youth are in protective custody or confined subject to section 3.3 of tins Second Amended Consent Decree, youth placed in the Suicide or Booking cells shall be allowed to spend the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the appropriate living unit and to have the opportunity to engage in structured, rehabilitative, and educational programming, unless medically counter-indicated.

         3.3 Youth who pose an immediate, serious threat of bodily injury to others may be confined in their cells for no longer than 12 hours at a time without administrative approval. Youth who are placed on cell confinement for this reason shall be released from their cells daily to attend school, maintain appropriate personal hygiene and to engage in one hour of large muscle exercise. Staff must perform visual checks on youth who arc subject to cell confinement even.- 15 minutes. Staff must document all instances of cell confinement in writing and must document the justification for determining that a youth poses an immediate, serious threat of bodily harm.

         3.4 Isolation: Eliminated by agreement of the parties in March 2018.

         3.5 Direct Care Staff on Units: Eliminated by agreement of the parties in March 2018.

         IV. STRUCTURED PROGRAMMING

         4.1 Hinds County denies that Henley-Young has failed to administer daily, structured, programming for youth detained at the facility. The parties agree, however, that henceforth: Henley-Young shall administer a daily program, including weekends and holidays, to provide structured educational, rehabilitative, and/or recreational programs for youth during all hours that youth shall be permitted out of their cells, pursuant to section 3.1. Programming shall include:

a. Activities which are varied and appropriate to the ages of the youth;
b. Structured and supervised activities which are intended to alleviate idleness and develop concepts of cooperation and sportsmanship;
c. Supervised small group leisure activities, such as a wide variety of card and table games, arts and crafts, or book club discussions; and,
d. The parties agree that this provision requires Hinds County, by and through its County Administrator and/or Executive Director at Henley-Young, to maintain exclusive control and maintenance of any facilities or technology that promotes compliance with this provision or other provisions of this consent decree.

         V. INDIVIDUALIZED TREATMENT PLANS/TREATMENT PROGRAM FOR POST-DISPOSITION YOUTH

         5.1 Hinds County denies that Henley-Young has failed to provide or has provided deficient individualized treatment plans or treatment programs for post-disposition youth. The parties agree., however, that Henley-Young shall ensure that youth have access to adequate rehabilitative services. Henley-Young shall ensure that children placed in the facility post-disposition will receive constitutionally compliant rehabilitative services.

         5.2 Henley-Young shall ensure that youth in need of mental health and/or substance abuse treatment and/or who are in the facility post disposition shall have appropriate treatment plans developed and implemented in accordance with generally accepted professional standards of practice for mental health and rehabilitative services.

         5.3 Henley-Young shall implement policies and procedures for the required content of treatment plans, which shall include:

a. That the treatment plan be individualized;
b. An identification of the mental and/or behavioral health and/or rehabilitative issues to be addressed;
c. A description of any mental health, medication or medical course of action to be pursued, including the initiation of psychotropic medication;
d. A description of planned activities to monitor the efficacy of any medication of the possibility ...

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