Gila County Jail Settlement Agreement
Between the United States and the County of Gila, Arizona
Regarding the Gila County Jail
Pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42
U.S.C. § 1997, the United States initiated an investigation into conditions
of confinement at the Gila County Jails, Globe and Payson, Arizona. On
August 21, 1996, Gila County was notified of interim findings based upon
the United States' expert evaluations of conditions at the two jails. Consultant
reports were provided to Gila County authorities to assist in the achievement
of voluntary compliance, as the County had indicated and demonstrated an
intention to achieve voluntary compliance. In 1997, additional expert evaluations
of the jails were conducted by the United States. On January 7, 1998, the
United States issued its final findings letter. That letter concluded that
unconstitutional conditions of confinement remained at the Globe facility,
but that sufficient remedial measures had been taken at the Payson facility
to justify the closing of that matter. Accordingly, the Payson Jail matter
Gila County has demonstrated a willingness to resolve remaining
deficient conditions pertaining to the Globe Jail without the necessity
and expense of further litigation. Fulfillment of the terms of this agreement,
voluntarily negotiated and entered into by the United States and Gila County,
is intended to resolve all remaining issues relating to conditions of confinement
at the Globe Jail. It is the expectation of Gila County and the United
States that full compliance with the terms of this agreement shall be achieved
within two years of the signing of this agreement, provided however, that
compliance with any individual item set forth herein shall be within the
time requirements stated within that paragraph. Reference to the "Gila
County Jail" or "jail" shall, for purposes of this settlement, refer exclusively
to the jail facility located in Globe, Arizona.
II. Terms of Settlement.
A. Inmate Classification, Security, Safety and Supervision, Staff
Training and Inmate Exercise.
1. Inmate Classification: Within six months from the entry of this
agreement, Gila County (hereinafter, "the County") agrees to develop and
implement a professionally based inmate classification plan utilizing objective
and/or behaviorally based classification standards. The classification
system shall be based upon safety and security considerations unique to
the Gila County Jail. The County plans to obtain the on-site assistance
of professional consultants in developing the inmate classification system,
and may seek the assistance of the National Institute of Corrections, National
Jail Center, in developing a classification system appropriate for the
Gila County Jail. Compliance with the requirements of this paragraph shall
not be dependent or contingent, however, upon obtaining assistance from
the National Jail Center. The County may utilize such other professionals
to develop the inmate classification plan as it deems appropriate.
2. Emergency Equipment: The County shall develop and implement a
plan for the repair or replacement of all defective fire safety notification
equipment. Remote releases of cell doors and other security doors in the
jail shall be maintained in good order or repaired as necessary. The door
control annunciator panel in the control center shall be repaired and kept
in good operating order. The required plan for the correction of deficiencies
noted in this paragraph shall be developed within sixty days of the entry
of this agreement and shall be fully implemented within four months thereafter.
3. Suicide Prevention and Inmate Safety: The County shall immediately
survey the jail inmate housing areas and promptly modify duct work grilles
and lighting fixtures to prevent inmate tampering. Grilles, lights and
shower components that have been identified as posing a risk for suicidal
behavior shall be modified as necessary to protect life. Bunks in holding
cells shall be modified to eliminate space between the frame and wall.
All modifications or repairs required by this paragraph shall be completed
within six months of the entry of this agreement.
4. Emergency Keys: A set of emergency keys that function appropriately
on all exit doors shall be kept readily accessible to staff on all shifts.
All corrections staff must be educated with respect to the location of
emergency keys within the facility.
5. Officer Rounds: Correctional officer rounds shall provide frequent
in-unit surveillance of inmate housing areas. Appropriate documentation
of security checks shall be maintained in a manner that is readily identifiable
and verifiable. Sufficient officer rounds shall be made within the housing
units to provide inmates reasonable protection from harm. At minimum, in
maximum and medium security housing areas such rounds shall be made and
recorded on at least one-half hour intervals. In minimum and trusty housing
areas rounds shall be made at least hourly.
6. Staffing: Correctional officer staffing shall be sufficient to
provide reasonable levels of safety and security on all shifts. Female
offices shall be available to attend to female inmates whenever strip searches
are conducted. To these ends the County agrees to a minimum full time equivalent
staff of 30 ½ correctional officers plus six inmate processing clerks.
Numbers of personnel, job classifications and assignments for these 36
½ employees include the following:
5 Sergeant shift supervisors
5 Control room staff (processing clerks)
5 Booking officers (including one officer certified as an emergency
medical technician assigned to the swing shift)
10 Rovers (housing unit supervision)
2 Floaters (assigned as needed)
4 Transportation officers
1 Medical officer (not counted in 36 ½ staffing - paid by
1 Supply officer
1 Classification, orientation clerk
1 ½ Activities officers
1 Sergeant security supervisor
7. Staff Assignments: All staff having direct contact with inmates
shall be fully trained correctional officers. Inmate processing clerks
shall only be assigned to functions with no direct contact with inmates,
i.e., control room operator and intake clerk. In no event shall
there ever be fewer than two correctional officers (rovers) assigned and
on duty in inmate housing areas. Moreover, the booking officer shall not
be counted as an officer assigned to an inmate housing area, although this
officer has responsibility for inmates held in the intake tanks.
8. Addition of Correctional Officer: In the event the population
of inmates incarcerated in the Gila County Jail exceeds 170 inmates, the
County agrees to add one rover officer on the swing shift to the required
correctional officer staffing complement.
9. Holding Cells: Based upon the current configuration of the inmate
holding cells area, County authorities shall make every reasonable effort
to minimize inmate crowding in the "holding tanks" by processing inmates
promptly to inmate housing areas of the jail. To this end, the County agrees
to refrain from holding more than eight inmates in each "tank" for up to
eight hours. For individuals held more than eight hours, there shall be
a maximum of six inmates held per cell. In the event one cell needs to
be utilized for isolation of an inmate for mental health observation or
other unusual incident, the prohibitions of this paragraph shall be suspended
for a reasonable time.
10. Sleeping Surfaces: The County agrees that every inmate shall
be provided an appropriate place to sleep regardless of crowding in the
jail. To this end, each inmate shall be provided adequate bedding and a
clean sleeping surface at least twelve inches off the floor. This requirement
is applicable to inmate housing areas as well as cells in the booking area
(if inmates are kept in these cells overnight).
11. Tool Control: Jail authorities shall develop and implement written
policies regarding tool control. Areas in which metal objects are stored
or placed in trash shall be secured. A policy shall be developed regarding
access of inmate "trusty" workers to areas in which tools and other metal
objects are used or stored. "Shadow boards" shall be installed in tool
storage areas and daily accounting for tools shall be taken and documented
by staff. "Trusty" worker inmates shall not have access to any area within
the jail perimeter in which metal unsecured objects are stored or held
for removal as trash, unless the "trusty" is directly and constantly supervised
by staff. Correctional officers shall search inmate "trusty" workers and
housing areas for contraband articles.
12. Disturbance Control Equipment: All disturbance control equipment
shall be located in the jail under the direct control of the Jail Administrator
or Shift Supervisor. Logbooks shall be maintained to assure proper control
and accountability of security equipment. Correctional officers and emergency
response team members shall not be permitted to bring disturbance control
equipment into the jail. Disturbance control equipment specifically includes
small canisters of chemical sprays. Correctional officers shall not be
permitted to bring any personal canisters of chemical spray into the jail.
13. Mutual Aid: Jail authorities shall develop mutual aid agreements
with other law enforcement authorities who may be called to the jail in
extraordinary circumstances. These agreements shall, at minimum, set forth
lines of authority in instances when local or state police are called to
assist in responding to jail disturbances or other emergencies.
14. Training for Correctional Officers: All correctional officers
shall successfully complete six weeks of academy training within their
first year of employment. In-service training of a minimum of forty hours
per year shall be required and documented for all correctional officers
after their first year of employment. Such training shall include, but
is not limited to, certification for CPR, SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing
Apparatus), fire safety, inmate mental health issues including suicide
prevention, and other appropriate curriculum.
15. Training for Inmate Processing Clerks: Six jail employees
(five control room staff and one data entry clerk) whose duties do not
include direct inmate contact shall receive in-house training in basic
correctional skills, but shall not be required to attend the correctional
officer academy. Additionally, in-service training for a minimum of forty
hours per year in appropriate correctional subjects shall be required of
these employees. In no event shall an inmate processing clerk be assigned
to a control room post without first receiving training documented as provided
16. Post Orders and Facility Policies and Procedures: Jail management
shall develop comprehensive correctional officer post orders and facility
policies and procedures within ninety days of the entry of this agreement.
The post orders and policies and procedures that have recently been drafted
by County jail authorities and reviewed by the United States may provide
the basis for compliance with this paragraph. County jail authorities shall,
in drafting post orders and policies and procedures unique to the Globe
Jail, incorporate as appropriate professionally recommended policies developed
by the National Sheriff's Association, the American Jail Association, the
National Jail Center and similar organizations. The United States shall
be provided a copy of the final proposed policies and procedures within
ninety days of the entry of this agreement. The United States shall have
the right to review policies, procedures and post orders so developed and
shall have the authority to disapprove any policy, procedure or post order
which it concludes fails to comport with appropriate penological practice.
17. Inmate Exercise: All inmates shall be provided reasonable opportunities
for outdoor exercise on a regular basis. Weather permitting, all inmates
shall be provided multiple opportunities for outdoor exercise which shall
amount, in the aggregate, to at least three hours per week per inmate.
Jail authorities shall maintain appropriate records of daily inmate exercise
B. Sanitation, Environment and Fire Safety.
1. Kitchen Expansion: Within six months of the entry of this agreement,
the County shall prepare a plan for the renovation or enlargement of the
existing kitchen at the jail, as the existing kitchen is inadequate to
provide sufficient food preparation
space and adequate sanitation. As an interim measure, pending completion
of a complete renovation and/or expansion of the kitchen, the County agrees
to provide within forty-five days of the entry of this agreement toilet
and hand washing facilities for the kitchen staff. To assure proper sanitization
of food trays, and utensils, the County shall install a commercial dishwasher
and provide appropriate space for pot, pan and utensil drying. Although
installation of the commercial dishwasher is a component of the proposed
kitchen renovation or enlargement, in no event shall the dishwasher installation
be delayed beyond one year from the entry of this agreement.
2. Electrical and Water Safety: Hazardous
conditions shall be remedied within six months of the entry of this
agreement, including the need to correct electrical deficiencies and possible
water system contamination. These measures include the installation of
a sump pump in the below-grade maintenance area of the Jail; installation
of back-siphonage devices on water lines; correction of electrical deficiencies
and grease build-ups in the kitchen stove hood.
3. Roofing Leaks: Roofing leaks that contribute to the creation
of mildew and other unhealthy conditions in the jail shall be identified
and temporarily repaired pending replacement of the entire roof. Roof replacement
shall be completed no later than the end of the 1998-99 fiscal year.
4. Plumbing Repairs: Facility maintenance personnel shall survey
the entire facility for plumbing deficiencies and repair toilets and urinals
on a priority basis. Showers in cellblocks shall be refurbished and cleaned
and provided with non-slip surfaces. These repairs shall be completed within
six months of the entry of this agreement.
5. Temperature and Air Exchange: Ambient temperatures, air exchange,
and airflow within the jail shall meet generally accepted standards for
heating, cooling and ventilation. To achieve and maintain compliance with
these temperature and air ventilation standards, the County agrees to obtain
the services of a professional consultant to evaluate the existing HVAC
system and provide remedial proposals as needed. Based upon this evaluation,
within six months of the entry of this agreement the County shall prepare
and submit a plan of correction to address any deficiencies set forth in
the consultant's report. Within one year thereafter, the corrections outlined
in the plan shall be fully implemented to achieve and maintain appropriate
temperature and ventilation within the jail. A copy of the consultant report
and the plan of correction shall be made available to the United States.
6. Fire and Smoke Detection: The existing fire and smoke detection
system must promptly be repaired or replaced and maintained in good order
thereafter. The annunciator panel that identifies the source of any fire
alarm must operate appropriately. All jail staff, particularly control
room employees, must receive training in the operation of the detection
and alarm system and must document any noted malfunctions. Any malfunctions
shall be reported immediately to the shift supervisor. Repair or replacement
of fire and smoke detection components and the annunciator panel shall
be given the highest priority. Within ninety days of the entry of this
agreement the County shall submit a detailed report regarding corrective
actions taken to implement this paragraph. Within six months of the entry
of this agreement all repairs or replacement of fire safety system components
shall be completed and the system shall be fully operational and so certified
by the contractor and the State Fire Marshal.
7. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus: All correctional officers
shall be trained in the use of safety equipment, particularly self contained
breathing apparatus ("SCBA") units. All correctional officers shall be
certified in the use of SCBA equipment within six months of the entry of
this agreement. The County shall provide certification documentation to
the United States with respect to each correctional officer's certification
8. Fire Drills: At least quarterly, fire drill walk-through procedures
and tests of fire exiting shall be conducted by staff. Evacuation of all
inmates shall not be required, provided a plan is in place for evacuation
of inmates posing a risk of escape or violence. All correctional officers
shall receive in-service training yearly in fire drill procedures.
9. Disaster Plan: A comprehensive fire safety and disaster plan
shall be developed within ninety days of the entry of this settlement and
all correctional staff shall receive appropriate training in the requirements
of the plan.
C. Health Care.
1. Policies and Procedures: The County shall within ninety days
of the entry of this agreement develop and implement medical policies and
procedures including: 1) inmate screening and health assessments, 2) communicable
disease testing and control, 3) sick call and other access to medical services,
4) distribution and management of medications, 5) mental health care, 6)
dental care, 7)emergency care, 8) medical records, and 9) staff training.
2. Health Assessment: Any inmate incarcerated for fourteen days
or longer shall be given a physical health assessment by a physician or
physician assistant. The assessment shall include a medical history, and
a vital signs examination. The results of the assessment shall be recorded
and kept in the inmate's medical record along with the inmate's medical
intake screening form.
3. Communicable Disease Screening: The county shall develop procedures
for screening inmates for communicable diseases, particularly tuberculosis.
All inmates incarcerated in the jail for more than seven days shall be
tested for tuberculosis by their fourteenth day of incarceration by use
of a PPD screen or other medically appropriate procedure.
III. Plans of Implementation and Reporting.
A. Plan of Implementation: Each plan required by this settlement
shall be provided to the United States within the time specified. Unless
objection to any plan or component is raised by the United States within
thirty days of its receipt of the plan, the County shall implement the
plan as submitted. If the United States raises an objection to any plan
or component thereof, the County and the United States shall make good
faith efforts to resolve any disputed items.
B. Reporting: The County shall prepare and submit to the United
States a comprehensive report regarding compliance with each item set forth
each paragraph of this agreement together with any required corrective
plans required by this agreement. The first report shall be submitted within
ninety days of the entry of this agreement and every four months thereafter
until the United States determines that substantial compliance with the
agreement has been achieved. The report shall include, as appropriate,
documentation, certifications, receipts and such other information as requested
by the United States to assist in the evaluation of compliance with the
terms of this agreement.
IV. Access, Inmate Notification, Termination and Enforcement Provisions.
A. Access: The United States and its attorneys, consultants and
agents shall, upon reasonable notice, have unrestricted access to the jail,
inmates, staff and documents as necessary to evaluate compliance with the
terms of this agreement.
B. Inmate Notification: The substantive terms of this agreement
shall be made available to all inmates, either by distribution of this
agreement to inmates or incorporation of the terms of this agreement into
an inmate handbook. Requirements set forth in the paragraphs II(A)2, II(A)4,
II(A)5, II(A)7, II(A)11, II(A)12, II(A)13, and II(A)15 of this agreement,
that may relate to facility security, need not be disseminated to inmates.
C. Termination Provision: Gila County shall diligently implement
the terms of this agreement within the time lines provided herein. This
agreement shall become subject to termination as soon as Gila County has
fully and faithfully implemented all requirements of this agreement and
such full compliance has been maintained for one year. Upon a showing of
compliance, the United States will join with Gila County to file a joint
motion with the Court to dismiss the complaint in this cause. If there
is a disagreement about the status of compliance, the United States and
Gila County shall attempt in good faith to resolve the dispute before initiating
any court action to resolve the dispute. Nothing in this paragraph shall
preclude the parties from jointly stipulating to the termination of portions
of this agreement at any time.
D. Resolution of Enforcement Disputes: The parties agree to lodge
this Agreement with the United States District Court for the District of
Arizona in conjunction with a complaint and a joint motion, pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2), for the dismissal of this case. The dismissal
shall be conditioned upon the County's achieving compliance with the terms
of this Agreement, and shall attach the Agreement to such motion. The motion
shall request that the case be placed on the Court's inactive docket. If
the County fails to substantially comply with the terms of this Agreement,
and if efforts to resolve and mediate the enforcement dispute are unsuccessful,
the United States may take appropriate legal enforcement action, including
filing a motion to restore the case to the Court's active docket.
FOR GILA COUNTY:
JOE RODRIQUEZ - Sheriff
CRUZ SALAS - Supervisor (Chairman)
RONALD CHRISTENSEN - Supervisor
EDWARD GUERRORO - Supervisor
STEVE BESICH - County Administrator
Assistant County Attorney
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
ANDREW J. BARRICK
Department of Justice