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Corrections Assignment: Deliberate Indifference Report

You are a prison consultant brought in by a prison after they fear they will be subject to a Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980 (CRIPA) investigation. The allegations being made is that the prison has a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conduct and conditions. Within the last 24 months the following incidents have occurred at the facility:

1. Two inmates with active tuberculosis were not appropriately screened for TB at intake and were housed in general population for 30 days before being placed in a specialized respiratory isolation room to reduce the risk of transmission through airborne particles. Two officers and four inmates in the same unit with the two inmates tested positive for TB.

2. A rash of skin infections among inmates, including MRSA. It was determined that all of the inmates’ sheets and towels were being washed in cold water because the hot water pipe was broken, and the prison did not want to spend the money fixing it.

3. Four suicides. Suicide 1 and 2 reported suicidal ideations at intake but were not placed on suicide watch. Suicide 3 was placed on suicide watch but hung himself with a bedsheet when the officer on watch went to the bathroom leaving him alone. Suicide 4 was a first time, nonviolent, 24-year old inmate who was housed in a cell with a convicted sexual predator and was sexually assaulted by him. Suicide 4 inmate reported his victimization to an officer who allegedly stated, “Do the crime, do the time” and refused to move him. Two days later, he jumped off the 3rd floor tier, broke his neck, and died.

4. Inadequate sick call procedures, causing 26 inmates to not see a medical provider after making a request for care.

5. Lack of follow-up medical treatment. For example, a 54-year old inmate with history of open-heart surgery complained of not feeling well but did not receive a full physical exam or have his vital signs taken. He was sent back to his unit and two days later was rushed to the hospital where he died. In your report to the prison authorities, address the following outlined below

• Discuss which constitutional right of the inmates have been violated. For example, the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and legal and correctional standards governing adequate medical and mental health care, including psychological and psychiatric services.

• Discuss the key court decisions of Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 102 (1976); Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994); the deliberate indifference standard and when does deliberate indifference occur, and the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

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