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Intake and admissions.

U.S. Appeals Court

CLASSIFICATION TELEPHONE TRANSLATOR

Chisolm v. McManimon, 275 F.3d 315 (3rd Cir. 2001). A hearing-impaired detainee brought a suit against the warden of a pretrial detainment facility and county court system, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, [section] 1983 and a state discrimination law, for failing to provide an interpreter and other services. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the detainee appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the county court system was not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity during an ongoing merger with the state court system. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to: (1) the effectiveness of alternate aids or services provided to the detainee when the jail failed to provide a sign language interpreter during the intake process, activate closed captioning capabilities on a prison television, (2) provide a text device for transcribing telephone calls; a nd whether pencil and paper were effective auxiliary aids in place of a sign language interpreter; and (3) whether exceptions to institutional rules on telephone calls were an effective alternative to providing special telephones. The court held that extradition was a "program" within the meaning of ADA and the Rehabilitation Act such that the court was required to ensure the ability of the detainee to participate in the hearing. When the detainee arrived at the detention facility on a Saturday, he was locked down in his cell to keep him apart from the general population until Monday when facility classification staff arrived. This practice was applied to all detainees admitted when classification staff members were not working at the facility. Such unclassified detainees consumed meals in their cells and did not have television or telephone privileges. When the detainee was not provided with an interpreter at intake he became upset and was eventually interviewed by a nurse, who concluded that he was a suicid e risk. He was kept in solitary lockup from Saturday until Tuesday. On Monday he was taken to meet with a classification staff member, where he was interviewed and was given a medium security classification. But the staff member had described the detainee as a "vagrant" in spite of the fact that he had worked for the U. S. Postal Service for 13 years and had lived at the same address for three years. This error added two points to his classification score, moving him from "minimum" security to "medium." (Mercer County Detention Center, New Jersey)

U.S. District Court

SEARCHES

Doan v. Watson 168 F.Supp.2d 932 (S.D.Ind. 2001). Former inmates filed a [section] 1983 suit against a former and current sheriff, individually and in their official capacities, alleging unconstitutional strip search policies. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the former inmates, finding that the jail policy of stripping inmates and requiring them to undergo a delousing procedure was an unreasonable search. According to the court, the policy authorized a blanket strip search without justification. The court noted that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) did not require the former inmates to produce evidence of physical injury to pursue their claims. The inmates had been arrested for misdemeanor offenses and were subjected to intake searches before entering the general jail population. (Floyd County Jail, Indiana)

U.S. District Court

SCREENING SUICIDE

Holland v. City of Atmore 168 F.Supp.2d 1303 (S.D.Ala. 2001). Survivors of an inmate who committed suicide during his period of pretrial confinement filed a [section] 1983 action. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendanta. The court held that jail staff did not have a duty to take any precautions to prevent his suicide, where the inmate had not shown strong likelihood of taking his life. The inmate had been admitted to the city jail after being arrested for driving under the influence and other offenses. He was booked into the facility and locked down. Within thirty minutes he was found dead or dying in his cell, having used his shoelaces to hang himself. The plaintiffs had argued that the inmate had previously attempted to take his own life and that city police knew about these attempts. (Atmore City Jail, Alabama)

U.S. District Court

SEARCHES

Lee v. Perez. 175 F.Supp.2d 673 (S.D.N.Y. 2001). An arrestee brought an action against a correctional officer, alleging he had been unconstitutionally strip searched. The district court entered a jury verdict in favor of the officer and the arrestee moved for reconsideration. The district court granted the motion, finding that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury's conclusion that the officer relied on permissible factors in making his decision to perform a body cavity search on the arrestee. According to the court, the officer testified that he had not considered the nature of the two misdemeanors with which the arrestee had been charged and could not identify any characteristic of the arrestee that led to his conclusion that the arrestee might have been carrying contraband. The arrestee had spent the night in a police holding cell and was arraigned in court the next morning. Bail was set at $250 but the arrestee was not allowed to post bail at the police station using money that had been in h is possession at the time of his arrest. He was transported to the local jail where he was processed in. The intake process included a "personal hygiene check/visual body search" which consisted of having the arrestee remove his clothes, followed by a visual inspection of his body. The officer contended that this hygiene check was not the same as a strip search because it did not require the inmate to open his mouth or bend over and spread his buttocke. (Orange County Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court

SEARCHES

Roberts v. Rhode Island. 175 F.Supp.2d 176 (D.R.I. 2000). A detainee brought an action against corrections officials challenging the constitutionality of policies that require all males committed to the state prison to be subjected to a strip search and visual body cavity search. The district court held that the policies were constitutionally deficient as applied to the detainee, who was searched while detained pursuant to an outstanding body attachment issued by a state family court. The court noted that the policies contained no language concerning what factors might give rise to reasonable suspicion that would permit a constitutional search, and that the policies were universally applied to all pre-arraignment detainees without any prior determination that there is a reasonable suspicion that the detainee may be carrying weapons or contraband. The detainee was searched upon initial admission to the facility and was searched again before being transported to court for arraignment. (Intake Services Center at the Adult Correctional Institution, Rhode Island)
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Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:1151
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