Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons
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 initiate actions for redress in cases involving denial of government services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the individual. To prevent government imposition of 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 or the administrators of juvenile justice that deprives citizens of the United States of their federal rights. To seek relief to redress a pattern or practice of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender or religion involving services by law enforcement agencies receiving federal financial assistance.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 04/02/2020 (Archived.)
Agency: Department of Justice
Office: Civil Rights Division
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
PROVISION OF SPECIALIZED SERVICES
Fiscal Year 2011: The Special Litigation Section’s very busy practice in FY 2012 has achieved important successes, enforcing existing matters and initiating new investigations and cases.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Implementing the promise of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision – to ensure that people with disabilities are supported in the most integrated community setting consistent with their needs – has become an increasingly large part of the Section’s practice. Frequently, ADA claims have supplanted CRIPA as a reform model for institutions for people with psychiatric and intellectual disabilities. Olmstead enforcement both promotes ADA compliance and fixes poor conditions by reducing institutional populations.
The Section’s work includes efforts to enforce landmark settlements in Georgia and Delaware that remedy the unnecessary institutionalization of people with mental illness, and, in Georgia for people with intellectual disabilities as well. Both agreements create meaningful community services systems, including crisis services, case management, and housing supports, to buttress individuals’ full integration into daily life.
The Section has entered into a comprehensive agreement with the State of Virginia that builds on the agreement in Georgia. The Virginia agreement will, over a ten year period, provide high quality integrated services for Virginia residents with developmental disabilities and ensure that the State comes into compliance with the ADA. Approval of the agreement is pending before the United States District Court in Richmond.
The Section has entered into litigation with the State of New Hampshire regarding the unnecessary institutionalization of people with mental illness. Our claims have been joined with those of private litigants.
Police: Addressing unconstitutional and unlawful patterns and practices of police departments remains one of the Section’s largest areas of practice. Among our most significant actions were releasing findings letters documenting the results of our investigations of the New Orleans Police Department, the Puerto Rico Police Department, and the Seattle Police Department. These letters provide a comprehensive assessment of patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing and serve as the basis for sustainable reform, including increased community trust. The Section filed litigation against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to address unconstitutional practices, including discriminatory policing and violations of the First Amendment.
Investigations opened by the Section, including in Newark, NJ, Portland, OR, and Los Angeles County, CA, are evaluating alleged patterns of unconstitutional policing, including possible bias in policing and excessive force, and are being conducted jointly with United States Attorneys’ Offices. We also have ongoing police investigations in Suffolk County, NY, Miami, FL, East Haven, CT, and other jurisdictions. The Section settled its investigation of the Beacon, NY Police Department, and continued to monitor consent decrees in seven jurisdictions.
The Section participated heavily in the multi-Division response to immigration bills passed in South Carolina, Alabama, and Utah. We have increased our coordination with DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services; the Office of Justice Programs, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
CRIPA: The Section litigated a CRIPA, ADA, and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act case involving the Conway Human Development Center in Conway, Arkansas. The Section also obtained a court-enforceable settlement of its litigation involving the Erie County Detention Center in Buffalo, NY. The Section filed the Division’s first CRIPA motion for receivership, to address 25 years of non-compliance with court orders regarding conditions at the Golden Grove Adult Correctional and Detention Facility in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
As part of its enforcement of a FY 2010 settlement regarding Chicago’s Cook County Jail, the Section helped persuade a judicial panel to grant the County’s request for a prisoner release order, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act. This order will aid the County in keeping the jail population at a manageable level, and help to avoid crowded conditions that, as our investigation showed, contribute to unconstitutional conditions. Other ongoing compliance work involves seven psychiatric hospitals in Georgia, nursing homes in Alabama and St. Elizabeths Hospital in the District of Columbia. In FY 2012, the Section filed a motion to enforce its consent decree regarding the mental health system in California.
In addition, the Section issued findings letters regarding a juvenile facility, a nursing home and four jails. The Section initiated six new CRIPA investigations, examining alleged sexual abuse of women at the Topeka Correctional Facility in Kansas, the use of cages for suicidal prisoners and mental health services in St. Tammany Parish, LA and conditions of confinement in the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi, the Piedmont Regional Jail in Virginia, and the Cresson and Pittsburgh Prisons in Pennsylvania.
Juvenile: Under 42 U.S.C. Section 14141, the Section has the authority to investigate and bring actions regarding juvenile justice and detention systems. In FY 2011 the Section issued findings letters regarding juvenile facilities in Terrebonne Parish, LA and LeFlore County, MS; in FY 2012, the Section settled the Terrebonne matter, and issued a findings letter regarding Florida’s Dozier and Jackson juvenile justice facilities. The Section continued to enforce decrees in Oklahoma and Puerto Rico. In addition, the Section issues comprehensive findings regarding due process and equal protection violations in the Shelby County, Tennessee juvenile court.
Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE): In the Section’s growing FACE practice, The Section filed five cases regarding clinic obstructions, or the use of or threat of force at reproductive healthcare facilities, and reached settlement with two defendants. Several other matters are under investigation.
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA): The Section’s RLUIPA practice expanded, including through filing the Department’s first two RLUIPA cases and three statements of interest related to prisoner religious practices, and initiating three investigations. Issues in these cases include hair and beard length for Sikhs and Native Americans, access to religious texts, and religious diets. The Section also engaged in outreach to the religious community and is working with the Bureau of Prisons and others in the Department.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
28 C.F.R. 0.50, Summary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 45 C.F.R. Part 84. The statement of the Department of Justice on Enforcement of Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v L.C., www.ada.gov/olmstead/index.htm. The statement of the Department of Justice on the Institutionalized Person Provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. 2000cc. Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Public Law 96-247, 42 U.S.C. 1997; Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132-12134; 28 CFR 35.130(d) ; 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.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Any person notifying the Attorney General of a pattern of 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 a denial of government services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. 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 violations of the religious land use and institutionalized person act of 2000 (RLIPA). Any person notifying the Attorney General of pattern or practice conduct by law enforcement officers or juvenile justice administrators which deprive citizens of the U.S. of their federal rights under Section 14141 or that results in discrimination based on race, color, national origin, gender or religion involving services by law enforcement agencies receiving federal financial assistance, under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.
Institutionalized persons confined in public facilities such as prisons, jails, mental health, and facilities for people with developmental disabilities, nursing homes, and juvenile justice facilities where there is a pattern of unlawful conditions. Persons with disabilities institutionalized, or at risk of institutionalization, in order to receive government services, where such institutionalization is not the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. 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 threatened, denied access to or the ability to provide clinic reproductive health services, or have 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 or juvenile justice administrators, have been deprived of their federal rights.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Contact the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Divisions, Special Litigation Section, Washington, DC 20530 or any United States Attorney's Office.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
How are proposals selected?
How may assistance be used?
The Attorney General is authorized to initiate or intervene in actions for equitable relief on behalf of institutionalized persons residing in public institutions wherein a pattern or practice of unlawful deprivations of rights exists. Such institutions include: facilities for persons who are mentally ill or people with developmental disabilities; nursing homes; prisons; jails; and juvenile detention and correctional facilities. The Attorney General may bring suit for equitable relief on behalf of institutionalized persons with disabilities or persons with disabilities at risk of institutionalization to obtain provision of government services to such individuals in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. 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 “has reasonable cause to believe” that a State or political subdivision is engaged in 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 or the administrators of juvenile justice who deprive U.S. citizens of their constitutional rights, and may initiate civil actions for relief from such constitutional deprivations. Finally, the Attorney General is authorized to investigate and where appropriate, seek injunctive relief against any local criminal justice agency that is the recipient of federal funds and that discriminates on the basis of race, color, sex, or natural origin.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Not applicable.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, , Washington, District of Columbia 20530 Phone: Telephone: (202) 514-6255.
(Salaries) FY 11 $8,095,424; FY 12 est $7,145,718; and FY 13 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
28 C.F.R. 0.50, Summary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 45 C.F.R. Part 84. The statement of the Department of Justice on Enforcement of Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v L.C., www.ada.gov/olmstead/index.htm. The statement of the Department of Justice on the Institutionalized Person Provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. 2000cc.
Examples of Funded Projects