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JORDAN v. ARNOLD

March 1, 1976

James F. JORDAN et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Floyd E. ARNOLD, Warden, U. S. Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUIR

 This class action was filed by the named Plaintiffs on behalf of all inmates who are in or who are subject to being placed in cells on the first floor of the Special Housing Unit (hereafter S.H.U.) at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. It was certified as a proper class action on December 22, 1975, and a hearing on both the preliminary and permanent injunctions was held from January 21, 1976 through January 27, 1976. At the end of the testimony and before oral argument, the Court, accompanied by counsel, toured the S.H.U.

 1. The United States Bureau of Prisons authorizes the establishment of special housing units to facilitate the separation of certain inmates from the general institution population. (Exhibit P22)

 2. The Special Housing Unit at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania is divided into three floors.

 3. The third floor of the S.H.U. is used to house inmates assigned to Administrative Detention.

 4. The second floor of the S.H.U. contains two sections, one section used to house inmates who are holdovers, either recent arrivals at Lewisburg or those being held over night while in transit to other institutions or to court appearances, and the other section used to house inmates assigned to Disciplinary Segregation.

 5. The Plaintiffs are inmates of the S.H.U. at Lewisburg.

 6. The first floor of the S.H.U. contains 14 cells, each of which measures approximately six feet wide by twelve feet long by 8 1/2 feet high.

 7. At the S.H.U., shower facilities are located on each of the three floors of the S.H.U. and shaving gear is given to each inmate.

 8. A gymnasium for persons in the S.H.U. is located on the second floor and offers weight-lifting apparatus, basketball hoop and a calisthenics area.

 9. This gymnasium is approximately one-half the size of the courtroom at the United States Courthouse in Lewisburg.

 10.ime the named Plaintiffs were brought to the first floor of the S.H.U., cells 101, 102, 103 and 114 were classified as Disciplinary Segregation cells.

 11. At the time said Plaintiffs were brought to the first floor of the S.H.U., cells 104 through 113, inclusive, were classified as either Administrative Detention or Disciplinary Segregation cells.

 12. The cells on the first floor of the S.H.U. are deemed more secure than those on the other floors, in part because the first floor cells have steel doors and the cells on the other floors have wooden doors.

 13. Some inmates who are housed in the S.H.U. require the presence of two, three or four correctional officers when they are out of their cells for any reason.

 14. Prior to the commencement of this action, each of the cells 101, 102, 103, and 114 had a concrete commode which could only be flushed by correctional officers from outside of the cell.

 15. Prior to the commencement of this action, each of said cells also had a small pipe in the wall for drinking water which could only be activated by a correctional officer by pushing a button outside of the particular cell.

 16. The only other contents of cells 101, 102, 103, and 114 consisted of a bed frame bolted to the floor upon which a mattress is placed.

 17. Each of the doors in the S.H.U. has a small opening or wicket which may be closed by the correctional officers from outside of the cells.

 18. All of the cells on the first floor of the S.H.U. have windows which cannot be opened and through which no fresh air can pass.

 19. The window at the outer end of the first floor corridor is sealed and no fresh air enters through it. The other end of the corridor opens into the institution.

 20. Prior to the commencement of this action, the glass wall at the inner end of the corridor on the first floor contained a door which was kept shut at all times so that no air entered the corridor.

 21. On December 30, 1975, there was no air movement whatsoever through the ventilation system in six of the cells on the first floor.

 22. None of the remaining cells on that date had enough air movement through the ventilation system to meet the minimum standards of the Bureau of Prisons which require at least 10 cubic feet of air supply per minute. (Exhibit D-13)

 24. The overall effect of the poor ventilation on the first floor of the S.H.U. was that the air was foul-smelling and extremely stuffy.

 25. This poor ventilation caused adverse physical effects on the inmates housed in the cells including headaches and sinus trouble.

 26. Prior to the commencement of this action, and up to December 30, 1975, the ventilation system for the cells on the first floor of the S.H.U. was completely inadequate.

 27. Because of the inadequate ventilation system the heat supplied to the first floor cells could not be regulated effectively, making some cells too hot and others too cold.

 28. At the time the complaint was filed, the windows in the cells on the first floor of the S.H.U. were painted over so that no light was admitted through said windows.

 29. With the windows painted over, the inmates housed on the first floor of the S.H.U. had no view of the world outside their cells except through the small wicket in each cell door which gives a view to the inmate of up to four other cell doors on the first floor.

 30. The lighting in the cells on the first floor of the S.H.U. is provided by two light bulbs located in a recessed compartment over the door of each of the cells.

 31. One bulb in each cell is activated by one master switch relating to all such bulbs on one side of the corridor. The other bulb in each cell is activated by a single switch outside the cell. At the time the complaint was ...


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