Food and Diet
Owens-El alleged that the jail does not provide a medically appropriate diet for inmates who have diabetes. While the jail food (eaten by both inmates and guards) is not haute-cuisine, it is possible for a diabetic inmate to maintain his diet by choosing the less starchy items from those which are offered. A diabetic inmate testified that while no special meal was provided to him, he had been able to stay on his diet by being selective in the cafeteria line.
Owens-El alleged that all men, including juveniles, admitted to the jail are fingerprinted in violation of their rights. As a routine matter, the jail administration's policy is to fingerprint all new residents, including juveniles, and to send a copy of the fingerprints to county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
This court has original jurisdiction over this civil rights action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1343. Under the doctrine of "pendent jurisdiction," or joinder of state and federal claims, we have the power to decide all of the questions presented by this case, not just the federal questions.
There is no prohibition against fingerprinting adults.
Making fingerprints of juveniles is not prohibited by the Pennsylvania Juvenile Code. 11 P.S. § 50-101 et seq. The statute does provide, however, that the law enforcement records and files concerning a juvenile must be kept separate from the records and files of adults and not available to the public. An inspection of juvenile records and files is permitted by only a limited number of people, under limited circumstances. 11 P.S. § 50-335.
There was no proof presented that the fingerprint records are being made public in violation of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Code.
Plaintiff Owens-El is seeking money damages for the class he represents. In order to recover money damages under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must show wrongful intention or culpable negligence on the part of the defendant. Kacher v. Pittsburgh National Bank, 545 F.2d 842 (3d Cir. 1976); Howell v. Cataldi, 464 F.2d 272 (3d Cir. 1972).
No evidence was presented which would permit a finding of wrongful intention or culpable negligence on the part of the defendants as is required to justify an award of money damages.
In certain instances, the constitutional rights of the inmates of the Allegheny County Jail have been violated.
An appropriate order will be entered.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following court-provided text does not appear at this cite in 442 F. Supp.]
ORDER OF COURT
AND NOW, to-wit, this 4th day of January, 1978, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND DECREED that:
I On or before February 6, 1978, Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) and counsel for the defendants shall submit to the Court the name and resume of one or more experts in penology nominated to serve as an advisor to the Court with respect to the matters hereinafter set forth. Said expert is hereinafter referred to as the "Court Advisor."
All counsel shall use their best efforts to agree on one individual to serve as Court Advisor. In any event the court will appoint the Court Advisor as soon after February 6, 1978 as is practicable.
The specific duties of the Court Advisor will be outlined in the Order appointing that individual.
II The Allegheny County Commissioners and administration of the Allegheny County Jail ("jail") are directed to begin immediately to implement the orders hereinafter set forth.
1. A sufficient number of guards shall be employed to guarantee that there are not less than two guards in each occupied cell block at all times with a sufficient number of supervisory and relief personnel to insure that the required number of guards are on duty.
2. All common areas of the jail and cells shall be thoroughly cleaned, including, but not limited to steam cleaning where appropriate. Jail administration shall establish an organized daily cleaning program to insure that all areas of the jail are hereafter maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. All necessary cleaning materials and implements shall be made available to the inmates.
3. All living areas in the jail shall be kept adequately heated and ventilated.
4. All necessary steps to exterminate insects and vermin shall be taken.
5. Pay telephones shall be installed in such numbers and at such locations as to enable all inmates to have reasonable access to them without undue delay. Telephone calls may not be monitored by jail personnel.
6. No inmate shall be assigned to, or placed in a cell, including double lock, which is not clean or which is equipped with an unsanitary, inoperable or malfunctioning toilet, sink or cot, or lighting so inadequate that the inmate cannot read a newspaper in the cell.
7. On admission to the jail each inmate shall be provided with a clean towel, clean sheet and clean blanket which shall be laundered once a week.
8. Each inmate who does not have adequate clothing when entering the jail, or who has not had the same furnished by family or friends, shall be furnished the same free of charge within twenty-four hours of being admitted.
9. Free laundry service shall be provided to all inmates at least once a week.
10. Each inmate who is indigent shall be furnished, without charge, within twenty-four hours of being admitted, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Indigency is defined as an inmate who is admitted to the jail with less than $2 in his possession or whose commissary account has a two week average balance of under $2.00.
11. The Allegheny County Jail Resident Rules and Regulations Manual shall be updated to reflect current rules, procedures, and practices in the jail.
12. The defendants shall establish the following procedures to govern the use of restraints at the jail:
(i) Inmates requiring restraints will be housed only in a hospital setting and only on regular beds with a mattress, clean sheet or mattress cover and blanket. Under no circumstances will restrained inmates be placed on cots with holes in them;
(ii) Restraints may be used only on the specific written authorization of a medical doctor;
(iii) If required in an emergency situation, when a doctor is not present, a registered nurse may order the temporary use of restraints, subject to the receipt, by telephone or otherwise, of approval from a medical doctor within two hours of the imposition of such restraints;
(iv) A log will be kept reflecting the use of restraints, and stating for each such use the name of the person restrained, the date and time he was placed in restraints, the name of the doctor approving the use of restraints, the time of such approval and the reason therefore;
(v) Orders by a doctor authorizing the use of restraints are valid for twenty-four hours only, and if no further written order has been entered within that period, the inmates shall be released from restraints;
13. Any further use of cots with holes cut in them for the passage of human waste is prohibited.
14. A sufficient number of nurses who qualify as psychiatric nurses shall be employed so that there will be at least one psychiatric nurse on duty in the jail at all times.
15. Any person suffering from delirium tremens shall never be housed in the jail but shall be immediately transferred to an appropriate medical facility until recovered from said delirium tremens.
16. With respect to the handling of mail the following conditions shall apply:
(i) All outgoing mail may be sealed by the inmate before being deposited in the mailbox. Outgoing mail may be inspected for contraband by mechanical or other devices but may not be opened by jail personnel unless there is reasonable cause to believe it contains contraband, in which case a log shall be kept of the name of the sender, date, time and results of the search. If no contraband is found, the letter shall immediately be resealed and sent to its addressee;
(ii) There shall be no limitation on the number of pages contained in an outgoing letter;
(iii) Incoming mail may not be opened by jail personnel except in the presence of the inmate addressee and may then be opened only for the purpose of searching for contraband. Such mail may not be read by anyone without the consent of the addressee;
(iv) The policy of requiring inmates to receive printed matter directly from the publishers shall be discontinued. Hereafter, inmates shall be permitted to receive books, magazines, and other reading material from any source so long as the publication has not been determined by the courts to violate postal regulations.
17. The defendants shall establish and keep updated a limited law reference library which shall be available for daily inmate use and shall include:
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
Pennsylvania Rules of Court
A complete set of Purdon's Pa. Statutes Annotated
A complete set of United States Code Annotated
Black's Law Dictionary
Pennsylvania Appellate Court Reporters (beginning no later than the year 1930) including Atlantic 2d Series
Federal Case Reporters including Federal Supplement, Federal Reporter 2d Series, and Supreme Court Reporter
(all beginning no later than the year 1930)
18. The following conditions of confinement shall apply to inmates in double lock cells:
(i) They shall be permitted to bring to double lock soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a towel, blanket and sheet which shall be laundered and redistributed on a weekly basis;
(ii) They shall be permitted to have a change of clothing and the same laundry service as all other inmates;
(iii) All double lock cells shall be equipped with the same type cots as are in the regular cells in the jail;
(iv) Food trays shall be removed from double lock promptly after each meal.
19. With respect to the disciplinary proceedings the following conditions shall apply:
(i) Inmates who are subjected to disciplinary proceedings shall be given written notice of the charges a reasonable period of time in advance of their appearance before the Disciplinary Board.
(ii) In all cases where an inmate is sentenced to double lock, the jail Disciplinary Board shall prepare a written statement summarizing the evidence relied upon and the reasons for its decision.
20. With respect to the use of the isolation cell, the following conditions shall apply:
(i) Inmates shall not be placed in the jail's isolation cell as punishment for infraction of jail rules;
(ii) Inmates who are placed in the isolation cell shall not be stripped of their clothing; however, their shoes and belts may be removed in the interest of their personal safety;
(iii) The isolation cell shall be equipped with a toilet and a bed. Inmates who are confined to the cell shall be furnished a blanket and a sheet. The isolation cell shall be adequately heated during cold weather and adequately ventilated at all times. The isolation cell shall have interior lighting which can be controlled from the inside of the cell. The solid door which presently fronts the isolation cell shall be replaced with a transparent door such as Plexiglas through which guards can observe the inmate, and the cell shall be checked at least every fifteen minutes. No inmate shall be kept in the isolation cell more than two hours without the express consent of the warden or his designated representative. A log book shall be kept reflecting the circumstances surrounding the placement of anyone in the isolation cell.
21. The defendants shall keep all records and files, including fingerprint information of juvenile inmates, separate from the records and files of adults. A juvenile inmate's file can be inspected only as allowed under Pennsylvania law.
22. The jail administration shall immediately begin to formulate a building evacuation plan to be used in the event of fire or other emergency.
23. Four weeks after the appointment of the Court Advisor, referred to in Paragraph I hereof, the court will review with the Court Advisor the progress which has been made pursuant to this Order and shall make such further orders as the situation requires.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE