U.S. v. Shelby County Jail Settlement Agreement
On August 24, 2000, the United States notified Shelby County
officials of its intent to investigate conditions of confinement
at the Shelby County Jail, pursuant to the Civil Rights of
Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997. On October 4-6
and December 11-13, 2000, the United States toured the Shelby
County Jail with consultants in the fields of penology,
correctional health care, environmental health and safety, and
mental health care.
Throughout the course of the investigation and inspection of
the facilities, the United States received complete cooperation
and access to all facilities and documents from Shelby County
Sheriff A.C. Gilless and the staff of the Office of the Sheriff
and the Sheriff's Legal Advisor, from Chief Jailer Marron Hopkins
and his staff, and from County Attorney Donnie E. Wilson and
Chief Administrative Officer Jimmy M. Kelly, and staff throughout
the Shelby County government.
On June 27, 2001, the United States issued a findings letter
("Findings Letter"), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997(a)(1), which
concluded that certain conditions in the Shelby County Jail
violated the constitutional rights of detainees and recommended
remedial measures. Attorneys for the United States met with
Shelby County officials in July 2001, to begin negotiations on an
agreement to address and remedy the concerns raised in the
Findings Letter. County officials subsequently provided a
substantive written response to the United States that proposed
corrective measures and proposed means of monitoring and
documenting those changes, many of which are incorporated in this
The United States acknowledges that Shelby County has
already begun drafting many of the new and revised policies and
procedures required by the Settlement Agreement ("Agreement"),
some of which may be completed prior to execution of this
The parties agree that this Agreement does not constitute an
admission by the defendants of the truth of findings contained in
the Findings Letter and does not constitute an admission of
liability by the defendants. The parties enter into this
Agreement solely for the purpose of avoiding the risks and
burdens of litigation.
1. "County" shall refer to defendants Shelby County, Tennessee,
the Sheriff of Shelby County in his official capacity, the Mayor
of Shelby County in his official capacity, and their agents and
successors in office.
2. "DOJ" shall refer to the United States Department of Justice.
3. "Inmates" or "detainees" shall refer to individualssentenced to, incarcerated in, detained at, or otherwise confined
at Shelby County Jail.
4. "Shelby County Jail" ("SCJ") shall mean the jail facility
located at 201 Poplar Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee (the "Jail"),
and the facility currently housing female detainees in East
Memphis ("Jail East"), as well as any facility that is built to
replace or supplement the SCJ. The terms of this Agreement shall
apply to all SCJ facilities, unless specifically noted otherwise.
5. "Jail Compliance Unit" shall refer to SCJ's internal unit
responsible for conducting, inter alia, security audits,
including audits of tool and key control practices, and other
inspections and random checks required under this Agreement,
except where another entity or staff person is specified by this
Agreement to conduct such inspections (e.g., monitoring of gang
activity, health care services, food services and maintenance).
6. "Gang Intelligence Unit" shall refer to the staff members
with responsibilities related to monitoring and controlling gang
activity at SCJ.
7. "Qualified Medical Professional" shall mean an individual
with a minimum of masters-level education and training in
medicine or nursing, who is currently licensed by the State of
Tennessee to deliver those health care services they have
undertaken to provide.
8. "Qualified Medical Workers" and "Qualified Medical Staff"
shall refer to individuals who have completed an educational
program at an accredited school of nursing, and who have complied
with licensing requirements in the State of Tennessee; or,
individuals with substantially equivalent education and training,
and two years of experience providing health care services.
9. "Qualified Mental Health Professional" shall refer to:
a) an individual with a minimum of masters-level education and
training in psychiatry, psychology, counseling, social work or
psychiatric nursing, who is currently licensed by the State of
Tennessee to deliver those mental health services they have
undertaken to provide; except that a social worker with masters-level education, training and experience may practice consistent
with Tennessee state guidelines without obtaining a license in
social work; or, b) a registered nurse with a bachelor's degree
in nursing with a minimum of two (2) years psychiatric
experience, or a registered nurse with a minimum of five (5)
years psychiatric experience.
10. "Qualified Mental Health Workers" and "Qualified Mental Health Staff" shall refer to individuals with a minimum of a
bachelor's degree and two years of experience providing mental
11. The term "special needs inmates" shall refer to those
inmates who are suicidal, mentally ill, mentally retarded,
intoxicated, seriously or chronically ill, physically disabled,
or otherwise a danger to themselves.
12. "Security staff" shall mean all employees, irrespective of
job title, whose regular duties include supervision of inmates at
13. The term "Semi-annual Report" shall mean reports SCJ will
submit to the United States to demonstrate its compliance with
this Agreement as specified in paragraph 84 (below).
14. The term "100 Day Report" shall mean a report submitted by
Shelby County to the United States within 130 days of execution
of this Agreement to demonstrate its compliance with those
provisions for which a 100 day report is specified.
III. SUBSTANTIVE REMEDIAL MEASURES
A. SECURITY, SUPERVISION AND PROTECTION FROM HARM
Security Staffing and Training
15. In order to improve sight and sound supervision of inmates
in their housing units, the Jail shall convert the majority of
inmate living spaces to a direct model of supervision in which
the security staff's work station is located inside the inmate
housing unit (either inside a pod or a dormitory). Within 100
days of this Agreement, the County shall provide DOJ with a
written schedule for conversion of the living units that remain
to be converted, and shall notify DOJ in writing of any
subsequent delays in and/or modifications to that schedule. At a
minimum, the plan shall provide for the completion of the
conversion within one year from execution of this Agreement.
Written notification to DOJ concerning any subsequent delays
shall be provided within 30 days of any such delay or
16. The County shall train all security staff in the principles
of direct supervision:
a. The County shall ensure that all supervisors and
managers complete a course in direct supervision for supervisors
and managers no later than January 1, 2003.
b. The County shall report to DOJ on the changes made to
its existing pre-service training that changes the focus of this
training to direct supervision as the dominant form of
supervision at the SCJ.
c. The County shall continue to provide comprehensive
pre-service training to all security staff.
d. The County shall develop pre-service training for all
non-security staff (including civilians)who have contact with
inmates directly to provide services or supervision of inmates.
This pre-service training, at a minimum, shall address:
i) emergency and evacuation procedures;
ii) preventing transmission of blood borne pathogens;
iii) recognition and reporting of signs of mental
illness and/or suicide risks; and
iv) reporting requirements for use of force.
17. The County shall hire and train sufficient security staff to
fill all shifts. In so doing the County shall adhere to the
current overtime management policy (Chapter 106, Overtime
Management). Additionally, the County shall not make any
substantive changes to the Overtime Management Policy without
first allowing DOJ to review the proposed substantive changes.
18. Within twelve (12) months of executing this Agreement, the
County shall create and maintain individual training records for
all staff, documenting the date and topic of all pre-service and
in-service training completed, for all training completed on or
after September, 2001.
19. The County shall continue to engage in proactive population
management to prevent a recurrence of excessive crowding,
including collection and analysis of data, and implementation of
the population management plan, as described in the Population
Management Report by consultant A. Gaston, dated March 14, 2002.
Security Policies and Procedures
20. The County shall implement revised key control and tool
control procedures. Within 100 days of signing this Agreement,
the County shall provide to DOJ revised policies in these areas,
and a schedule for implementation of the revised procedures. At
a minimum, the County shall provide for implementation of revised
policies within one year from execution of this Agreement. If
implementation of the revised policies is not scheduled to begin
within six (6) months of the date of the Agreement, then the
County shall also provide, with its 100 day report, interim tool
and key control plans.
a) At a minimum, the key control policy and interim
i) assure maximum safety and security of staff,
inmates and civilians in the SCJ;
ii) provide for emergency identification of keys by
touch or other non-visual means;
iii) include revised post orders that reflect ongoing
training in use of keys and both manual and electronic locking
iv) require routine testing and maintenance of keys and
v) ongoing inventory, audit and evaluation of key
b) At a minimum, the tool control plan and interim measures
shall require ongoing inventory, audit and evaluation of tool use
at the SCJ.
21. The Jail Compliance Unit shall verify that SCJ conducts and
documents random checks of the security staff's familiarity with
emergency tool and key procedures on a monthly basis.
22. The County shall provide security audit training for the
Jail Compliance Unit and designated supervisory staff.
Sufficient staff will be trained in time for the County to
initiate an internal security audit within nine months of this
Agreement. An internal security audit will be conducted every
six months thereafter for the duration of this Agreement.
23. The County shall continue to utilize members of the
specially trained Detention Response Team ("DRT") to conduct
frequent and random shake-down searches of inmate housing areas,
on both day and evening shifts. The County shall add to the
shakedown log a section to record a summary of contraband
24. The County shall provide timely escort of inmates, as
required, to attend necessary programming.
Classification and Inmate Discipline
25. The County shall revise its inmate classification system.
The revised system shall, at a minimum, incorporate the following
a) Any revised classification system shall meet
professional standards prior to its final implementation;
b) Inmates shall be reviewed periodically for possible
re-classification (upward or downward) based on institutional
c) The County shall implement a system of warning flags
that alert intake workers of specific indicators in the records
of an inmate's past incarceration at the SCJ, which, if present,
require immediate referral to medical staff before classification
is completed or the inmate assigned to housing. The indicators
shall include, at a minimum:
i) Diagnosis or treatment for mental illness at any
time during a past incarceration;
ii) Diagnosis or treatment for serious chronic
illness, including but not limited to diabetes, hypertension,
heart disease, seizure disorders, tuberculosis or HIV infection;
iii) Placement on heightened observation for suicide,
risk at any time during a past incarceration at the SCJ; and
iv) Any medical contraindications for the use of
26. The County shall include in its 100 day report a schedule
for implementing a revised classification system, and any
anticipated changes to the revised system. The County shall
also provide an interim plan for implementing periodic
re-classification reviews and a system of warning flags based on
past history, pending implementation of the new classification
system. At a minimum, the County shall provide for the
implementation of the new classification system within one year
from execution of this Agreement.
27. The County shall implement procedures for assigning
vulnerable, assaultive or special management inmates to
administrative segregation and shall provide a sufficient number
of single-occupancy cells to enable prompt segregation of these
28. The County shall implement an effective and timely system of
inmate discipline and provide a sufficient number of
single-occupancy cells for the prompt segregation of all inmates
sentenced to the disciplinary segregation unit.
Use of Force Policies
29. The County shall revise its policies on the use of force,
including the use of chemical agents and the use of restraints,
to provide operational guidance to staff. The revised policy
will be provided to DOJ for approval prior to implementation. At
a minimum, the revised policies shall ensure that:
a) use of physical force is limited to those situations
clearly identified by the policy;
b) SCJ shall conduct periodic inventory of chemical agents,
and shall appropriately respond to indications of mis-use or
excessive use of chemical agents;
c) mental health professionals are consulted before any
planned use of force or non-routine use of restraints on any
inmate with a diagnosis of mental illness;
d) all uses of force, including chemical agents and
restraints, are reported pursuant to policy and all reports are
reviewed by supervisory staff;
e) staff are subject to discipline for failure to report a
use of force when policy requires such a report;
f) all uses of force and all failures to report a use of
force are investigated thoroughly and appropriately by trained
g) inmates may report allegations of the use of excessive
force orally to any staff member, who shall reduce the report to
30. The County shall implement an effective system for the
prompt discipline of staff who violate policies on reporting and
use of force.
31. The County shall revise its policy on use of the restraint
chair to require pre-authorization and supervision by mental
health staff for any non-emergency use of the restraint chair
involving inmates with mental illnesses.
32. No hoods may be used under any circumstances. The County
shall submit to DOJ for approval a revised policy to permit the
use of a disposable spit cap in limited circumstances; the policy
shall, at a minimum, prohibit the use of spit caps which restrict
an inmate's airway.
33. Security staff shall receive special training on all revised
use of force policies.
34. The County shall require all security staff to attend annual
in-service training on the use of force and de-escalation
35. Grievance forms shall be available in all housing units at
all times without the need to request one from a counselor or
other staff member. The County shall provide a secure and
confidential method for delivery of grievances, such as a secure
lockbox in an area accessible to inmates. The County shall
continue to record and maintain records of inmate grievances,
including dispositions, for a minimum of one year. The County
shall ensure that inmate grievances are investigated and
responded to within a reasonable time frame. Inmates shall be
provided at least one level of appeal. The County shall not
retaliate against inmates who file grievances or appeals, and
shall not limit an inmate's ability to file repetitive
grievances, except as consistent with state law. In appropriate
cases, the SCJ's response to a repetitive filing may be a
reference to an earlier response.
36. The SCJ shall periodically review inmate grievances and the
disposition of these grievances to identify trends or emergent
problems that may require a management response.
37. The County shall identify and control inmates who are
members of organized gangs. Illicit gang-related behavior shall
be a factor considered in increasing an inmate's classification
B. MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Screening, Medication, and Specialty Care
38. The County shall comply with its stated policies to provide
medical and mental health intake screening to all inmates; shall
provide a 14-day health assessment and examination; shall ensure
continuation of prescription medications within 24 hours of
intake; shall comply with stated policies to screen inmates for
infectious disease; shall continue to provide mental health
evaluations for all inmates whose histories or whose responses to
initial screening questions indicate a need for such an
evaluation; shall provide accurate diagnoses for inmates in need
of mental health services; and shall continue to provide timely
and appropriate referrals for specialty care.
39. The County shall comply with its stated policy for
medication administration, particularly in documenting any missed
doses of medication.
Sick Call and Staffing
40. The County shall provide access to sick call to all inmates
a minimum of five days per week; shall ensure that sick call
request forms are reviewed by qualified medical staff within 24
hours; and shall ensure that, for non-emergency requests, inmates
are seen by a qualified medical professional no more than 24
hours after submission of the request, or, if requests are first
reviewed by qualified staff, within another 24 hours of that
review, except that inmates may be seen within 72 hours of
submission of a request on weekends.
41. The County shall hire additional staff to ensure that all
sick call examinations are conducted by appropriately qualified
and licensed medical professionals or medical staff, pursuant to
licensing standards for medical professionals and nurses in the
State of Tennessee. At a minimum, in its contract with its
medical care provider beginning July 1, 2002, the County shall
increase the number of medical doctors to a minimum of three (3)
full time equivalent ("FTE") positions (one of the FTE medical
doctor positions may be satisfied by substituting one and one
half (1 ½) FTE mid-level practitioner such as a licensed nurse
practitioner or physician's assistant); the County shall also use
its best efforts to hire at least ten (10) additional registered
nurses to fill the currently authorized nursing positions.
42. The County shall hire additional mental health professionals
to ensure delivery of necessary mental health services. At a
minimum, the County shall increase psychiatrist staffing to one
and one-fifth FTE positions, and shall add a minimum of two FTE
positions for mental health professionals to the staffing level
authorized through addendum no. 11 to its health care contract.
43. The County shall assess the impact of the chargeable-care
policy on delivery of medical and mental health care, consistent
with the recommendations contained in the March 31, 1996 position
statement on Charging Inmates a Fee For Health Care Services by
the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.
44. The County shall provide to DOJ in its 100 Day Report a
copy of all materials through which the SCJ explains the
chargeable-care system for health care to inmates, including all
materials prepared for non-literate and non-English speaking
45. Mental health workers shall make regular rounds to all
housing units, including administrative segregation, in accord
with SCJ stated policy; mental health workers shall speak
regularly with pod officers on these rounds to assess whether
inmates in general population, who have not self-identified as
requiring mental heath care, should be evaluated by a mental
Mental Health Information and Intervention
46. The County shall provide sufficient qualified medical and
mental health staff to respond promptly to requests from security
staff for medical information/intervention, including, without
limitation, assessment and monitoring of inmates identified at
intake by the medical alert (or flag) system described in
paragraph 25, above; intervention prior to a planned use of force
on an inmate known to suffer from mental illness, as required in
paragraph 29, above; and identification of inmates for whom the
use of chemical agent sprays is medically contraindicated.
47. The County shall ensure that mental health professionals
monitor all use of therapeutic restraints pursuant to its revised
use of force policy, and shall ensure that mental health
professionals are consulted prior to any planned uses of force
involving inmates identified as having a mental illness.
Chronic and Critical Care
48. The County shall implement a system to track inmates with
serious and/or chronic illnesses, including mental illnesses, to
ensure that these inmates receive necessary diagnosis, monitoring
49. The County shall implement a protocol for enhanced
communication between medical professionals who transfer any
inmate between the SCJ and an outside medical facility,
including, but not limited to, transfers between the SCJ and the
Regional Medical Center ("the MED"), and between the SCJ and the
Memphis Mental Health Institute ("MMHI"). The protocol shall, at
a) be implemented within 6 months of signing this Agreement;
b) shall be monitored as part of the County's quality
c) shall expressly authorize a SCJ physician to refuse, on
medical grounds, to admit (or refuse to accept a transfer of) an
inmate from any outside medical facility (specified above),
consistent with state law; and
d) in addition, SCJ internal Policies and Procedures shall
be revised to provide direction to staff in accomplishing the
transfer inmates to outside medical facilities once a SCJ
physician determines, on medical grounds, that the inmate should
no longer be housed at the SCJ.
50. The County shall revise its Policies and Procedures
on segregation of special needs inmates (currently BK 5201.01-1.04 to BK 52. 02.00-05). At a minimum, the revised
a) prescribe a protocol to identify inmates requiring
heightened medical and/or mental health monitoring;
b) prescribe a method of triaging these special needs
inmates for classification and assigning housing based on
assessed need; and
c) specify means of providing enhanced monitoring for
inmates who require such close monitoring, pursuant to the
County's policies, but for whom no space is available in the
housing unit referred to as special needs housing.
51. The County shall continue to provide appropriate clothing,
such as paper gowns or suicide smocks, to all inmates placed
under suicide precautions.
52. The County shall implement revised policy and procedures for
suicide observation cells (currently Pod 2K) to address the lack
of direct visual observation for certain of these cells.
53. All SCJ staff shall receive annual training on suicide
54. The County shall, within six months, draft and implement a
written infection control program to ensure compliance with
universal precaution procedures in all SCJ operations. At a
minimum, the program shall ensure provision of appropriate
cleaning and personal protective equipment, and shall include
training on preventing transmission of blood borne pathogens, as
well as general sanitation issues.
Critical Incident Reviews
55. The County shall request an autopsy and shall
conduct a critical incident/mortality review for every inmate who
dies while in the SCJ (or at the Jail ward of the MED), as part
of the County's ongoing quality improvement program. Critical
incident review teams shall involve physicians, nurses and other
relevant County personnel, including SCJ security staff, and
shall seek to determine whether there was a pattern of symptoms
or in the SCJ's response which might have resulted in earlier
diagnosis and intervention. The review team shall also examine
events immediately surrounding the inmate death to determine if
appropriate interventions were undertaken.
C. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
56. Within 150 days of the execution of this Agreement, the
County shall have in place a permanent food service provider for
57. All food service staff must be trained in food service
operations, safe food handling procedures and proper sanitation.
The County shall ensure that the temporary food service provider,
hired to provide food services during the transition to a private
provider, is staffed with a sufficient number of properly
supervised and trained personnel.
58. The County shall ensure that its contract with a permanent
food service provider contains provisions requiring that all
civilian food service staff receive 40 hours of pre-service
training in the principles of safe food handling, proper service,
and sanitation. Civilians who will have contact with inmates
during food preparation or service shall, in addition, receive
pre-service training relating to security, emergency evacuation
and blood borne pathogen concerns. Inmate food service workers
shall receive training in principles of safe food handling and
sanitation, although the SCJ shall retain discretion to provide
fewer than 40 hours of such training to inmate workers.
59. The County shall ensure that the SCJ's food sanitation
practices and procedures comply with state and local health
60. The County shall ensure that the newly-established
environmental health and safety manager ("EHM") or his/her
designee checks and records on a daily basis the temperatures in
the refrigerator, coolers, walk-in-refrigerator, the dishwasher
water, and all other equipment with temperature monitors. The
EHM shall also verify that the manifold pressure gauge on the
dishwasher is checked and recorded on a daily basis. Likewise,
to ensure proper sanitation, the EHM shall verify that
maintenance personnel check and record on a weekly basis the
speed of the dish conveyor to ensure that it conforms to
manufacturer specifications. SCJ shall purchase temperature
recording strips to measure the accuracy and adequacy of
dishwashing machine temperatures (for both wash and final rinse
cycles), and shall purchase chemical sanitizing strips and
routinely check to ensure proper sanitizing when food service
equipment is washed in sinks.
61. The County shall have inmate meals reviewed annually by a
registered dietician to ensure the nutritional adequacy of inmate
meals. Menus must be evaluated annually to ensure compliance
with nationally recommended basic daily nutritional requirements.
A dietician shall also review all special medical diets annually,
or more often as necessary. The County shall provide support to
its food service manager from a dietician in order to make
nutritionally adequate menu substitutions on those occasions when
specified menu items are unavailable.
62. The County will construct a new kitchen adjacent to the Jail
Annex currently under construction, and will contract for
completion of the new kitchen within eighteen to twenty-four
months. In the new kitchen, the County shall install new,
properly-sized kitchen equipment, i.e., designed to provide food
service to the rated capacity of SCJ, including refrigeration
units, cooking units and dishwashing and tray washing units.
63. In its 100 day Report the County shall produce an interim
plan to DOJ that corrects the problem of broken, malfunctioning,
and/or improperly-sized food service equipment. At a minimum,
the plan shall designate personnel to perform preventive
maintenance and conduct quality assurance checks on all existing
food service equipment, including daily checks and documenting of
freezer, cooler, refrigerator and holding oven temperatures and
daily checks of all sanitizing equipment.
Housekeeping, Preventative Maintenance and Pest Control
64. The County shall immediately revise its written housekeeping
and sanitation plan to ensure the proper routine cleaning of
housing and shower areas, which shall include routine housing
inspections to assess compliance with its revised plan. The
housekeeping plan shall, at a minimum, be revised to specify
routine cleaning schedules for the kitchen, medical and other
common areas outside inmate housing.
65. The County shall develop a written preventative maintenance
plan to improve upon the recently-adopted priority-based work
order system, and shall provide a copy of the written plan to DOJ
for its comments and approval within 100 days. At a minimum, the
plan shall specify a protocol for accurate and timely entry of
information into the system, and shall provide for routine audits
of the system by the Jail Compliance Unit to assess its
efficiency and utility.
66. The County currently utilizes portable eye wash stations.
These should be added to SCJ's preventative maintenance plan and
inspected annually. To the extent SCJ utilizes any stationary
eyewash stations, the County shall ensure that these stations are
inspected and flushed on a weekly basis to prevent blockages and
to ensure proper pressure. This task shall be added to the
preventative maintenance list.
67. The County shall ensure adequate pest control throughout the
housing units, medical intake and food storage areas. The County
shall maintain a contract for professional exterminator services
for the main Jail and Jail East, and the new Jail Annex when it
opens. Services should provide for routine spraying and
additional spraying as needed.
Personal hygiene and laundry
68. The County shall ensure that personal hygiene items,
including an adequate supply of soap, hair shampoo, toothbrushes,
toothpaste, toilet paper, a comb, deodorant, shaving equipment,
and feminine hygiene products are made available, as necessary,
to every inmate. The Jail Compliance Unit shall review and
assess its compliance with this requirement at least twice
annually, including a review of inmate grievances concerning
69. The County is currently soliciting bids for an outside
contractor to replace the Jail's laundry services which were
recently destroyed by a fire. Jail East will continue to do its
own laundry. The County shall ensure that its stated policies
and procedures regarding the laundering of inmate clothing are
implemented by both the temporary and permanent laundry
providers, and that inmates are provided clean clothing,
underclothing and bedding in compliance with policy. The County
shall revise its laundry exchange schedule to ensure equitable
distribution and pickup service to all housing areas. The County
shall specify in its laundry policy and/or inmate handbook that
it will provide inmates two sets of clothing, at a minimum. The
Jail Compliance Unit shall review and assess its compliance with
laundry policy at least twice annually, including a review of
inmate grievances concerning laundry.
70. The County shall ensure adequate lighting in all inmate
housing and work areas to enable inmates to read without
eyestrain, to maintain adequate personal hygiene, and to
facilitate proper sanitation. The County is currently engaged in
a bidding process to procure a contractor to repair the lighting
in the SCJ's cells, catwalks and showers. The County shall
publish/disseminate the RFP and engage a contractor so as to
provide sufficient lighting within six months of this Agreement.
The County shall notify DOJ in writing of any delays in and/or
modification to these time frames.
71. The County shall revise its preventative maintenance plan to
define plumbing emergencies, and shall specify back-up procedures
to address plumbing emergencies on weekends and outside of
72. The County shall complete outstanding repair requests and
maintain in good working order all toilets, lavatories and
showers. These items shall be incorporated on the list of items
to be addressed in the SCJ's preventative maintenance plan
described in paragraph 65, supra.
73. The County shall ensure adequate ventilation throughout the
SCJ to ensure that inmates receive an adequate supply of fresh
air and reasonable levels of heating and cooling. Maintenance
staff shall review and assess compliance with this requirement at
least twice annually; the Jail Compliance Unit shall review
inmate grievances concerning heating, cooling and ventilation on
a semi-annual basis.
Fire Safety and Emergency Preparedness
74. The County shall develop and implement a comprehensive fire
safety program and ensure compliance is appropriately documented.
The initial fire safety plan shall be approved by the City or
County Fire Marshall. The fire safety plan shall be reviewed
thereafter by the Fire Marshall at least every two years, or
within six (6) months of any revisions to the plan, whichever is
75. The County shall forthwith provide DOJ with a plan that
ensures that comprehensive fire drills are conducted every three
(3) months on each shift. The 100 Day Report shall provide
documentation of these drills, including start and stop times and
the number and location of inmates who were moved as part of the
drills. The County shall ensure that fire safety equipment,
including fire extinguishers and self-contained breathing
apparatus, is regularly inspected and properly secured, and that
inspections are documented.
76. The County shall ensure that staff are able to manually
unlock all doors (without use of the manual override in the event
of an emergency in which the manual override is broken),
including in the event of a power outage or smoke buildup where
visual examination of keys is generally impossible. The Jail
Compliance Unit shall conduct and document random audits to test
staff proficiency in performing this task on all shifts, a
minimum of three times per year.
77. The County shall eliminate all electrical hazards, and
ensure the proper use of extension cords and proper repair of
78. The County shall control combustibles and eliminate
highly flammable materials throughout the institution and inmate
living areas (e.g., inmates' use of paper bags as trash
receptacles, ripped fire-retardant mattress covers and,
improperly stored and labeled flammable liquids and other
chemicals). The County shall remove all impediments compromising
the effectiveness of sprinkler heads including, specifically,
those in the food storage units in the kitchen area.
79. The Jail Compliance Unit shall conduct regular security
inspections and the County shall provide ongoing maintenance to
security devices such as door locks and manual unlocking
mechanisms to ensure these devices function properly in the event
of an emergency.
80. The County shall revise and implement a specific facility
tailored Emergency Response Plan within one year of execution of
this Agreement. At a minimum, the Emergency Response Plan shall
address fire-related emergencies, other emergencies or crisis
situations such as escapes, bomb threats, hostage taking and
negotiations; and provide for announced and unannounced bi-annual
drills to ensure the staff and inmate population understand their
respective roles in specific emergency scenarios. All training
drills shall be conducted consistent with the injunctive relief
ordered in American Federation of State v. A.C. Gilless, et al.,
CV.00-2540 ( W.D. Tenn.). The County shall produce a copy of the
draft plan to DOJ within 100 days.
D. ACCESS TO THE COURTS AND EXERCISE OPPORTUNITIES
81. The County shall provide to DOJ within six months a revised
policy regarding access to the law library, which at a minimum,
a) provision of individual storage bins or lockers in which
inmates may store legal materials;
b) that inmates on locked units (psychiatric, administrative
and disciplinary segregation, protective custody, and other
special needs housing) receive access to legal materials and
legal assistance equivalent to that of inmates in the general
c) that inmates who are illiterate and/or have limited or no
English proficiency receive meaningful assistance in order to
access legal materials and legal assistance;
d) that a trained aide be available to assist inmates with
the law library resources; and
e) in the event SCJ provides computer access to inmates,
inmates will be provided reasonable assistance with this
82. All inmates shall be informed of the policies and procedures
for accessing legal assistance at the SCJ.
83. The County shall provide inmates with routine access to
outside recreational activities, consistent with the
recommendations contained in the NIC Recreation/Programs
technical assistance report (#02J1078), dated February 18, 2002.
At a minimum, the County shall use its best efforts to provide a
minimum of two and one-half (2 ½) days of outdoor recreation each
week, weather permitting. These efforts are to be documented and
provided to DOJ upon request. The County shall utilize the
redesigned outdoor rooftop program area in addition to the gym,
seven (7) days a week unless the temperature falls below freezing
(32 degrees), rises above 95 degrees, or there is potentially
life-threatening inclement weather (e.g., thundershowers or
IV. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
84. The County, through its Criminal Justice Coordinator, shall
report semi-annually to the United States Department of Justice
("DOJ") concerning its compliance with the terms of the Agreement
(the "Semi-annual Report"). The first Semi-annual Report shall
be due six months from the date of this Agreement, and every six
months thereafter, until the Agreement is terminated as provided
in paragraph 98. At a minimum, the Semi-annual Report shall
include the following sections:
a. A narrative summary of the County's compliance with the
terms of this Agreement; where applicable, the summary shall
specifically note when the County has failed to meet any deadline
specified in this Agreement.
b. A training summary, in which the County reports the
number of hours and type of training provided to staff during the
reporting period, separately by supervisory and non-supervisory
staff, and, if applicable, separately for security, medical,
mental health and civilian staff.
c. A copy of all substantive court filings made during the
reporting period by either the County or the Special Master in
the case of Little v. Shelby County, No.96-2520( W.D. Tenn.)
d. Copies of supporting data and/or reports as specified
within this Agreement and itemized in paragraph 85 below.
85. The Semi-annual Report shall include the following
documentation and reports:
a. an update on the status of SCJ's conversion from
the indirect to direct supervision model as described in
paragraph 15, supra.
b. a schedule that ensures completion of the 40 hour
direct supervision training by all security staff no later than
June, 2003, and a report on the SCJ's compliance with this
c. an update on steps taken to hire and retain qualified
security staff, including: a summary of turnover rates and new
hiring; copies of any consultant reports prepared on the issue of
staff recruitment and retention; and changes in recruitment or
selection procedures, job standards or job descriptions.
d. copies of the Jail Monthly Summary Report.
e. documentation demonstrating the Jail Compliance Unit's
monthly random checks of the security staff's familiarity with
emergency tool and key procedures as described in paragraph 21,
f. copies of SCJ's audits and a report documenting SCJ's
progress in training staff to conduct internal audits as
described in paragraph 22, supra.
g. the number and types of inmate disciplinary
infractions referred to the disciplinary committee during the
report period, a summary of the dispositions, and the total
number of cases abandoned for lack of a timely hearing.
h. copies of one week's shakedown-logs summarizing
contraband confiscated, as described in paragraph 23, supra, from
any week of any month in the reporting period.
i. a summary of the number and types of force used during
the reporting period and the results of the reviews conducted on
the uses of force during the reporting period, including any
staff discipline imposed.
j. copies of the monthly medical quality assurance
committee minutes, and all audits of medical or mental health
k. reports on both medical and mental health staffing
described in paragraph 41-42, supra, including the number of
vacancies in authorized medical and mental health positions on
the first day of each month.
l. copies of all audits concerning the chargeable care
policy, and any findings of those audits, as described in
paragraph 43, supra, and a review of any inmate grievances
concerning access to or provision of medical or mental health
m. copies of any revised or supplemental materials provided
to inmates, including a script used by staff to explain the
chargeable care policy as described in paragraph 44, supra. The
script shall be provided for DOJ's review within 100 days.
n. a copy of SCJ's protocol for enhanced communication
between medical professionals who transfer any inmate between the
SCJ and an outside medical facility as described in paragraph 49,
supra, and a report on compliance with the protocol.
o. documentation of the SCJ's basic blood borne pathogen
training and in-service training for all staff as described in
paragraph 54, supra.
p. list the personal protective equipment currently
available to SCJ staff;
q. copies of quarterly spore count test results for
r. report all mortality statistics for inmates who die in
custody or upon transfer to an outside hospital, including the
number of deaths; date of death; age; and suspected cause of
injury or death. The County shall also describe any quality
improvement measures implemented during the reporting period
pursuant to the recommendation of the critical incident review
committee as described in paragraph 55, supra.
s. a status report summarizing safe food handling, proper
service and sanitation training received by food service
employees as described in paragraph 57-58, supra.
t. a status report on SCJ's preventive maintenance efforts
and documentation regarding the degree of compliance with the
plan as described in paragraph 65, supra.
u. documentation describing SCJ's provision of personal
hygiene items described in paragraph 68, supra, and a
semi-annual review and assessment of inmate grievances concerning
v. documentation describing SCJ's compliance with its
laundry policy described in paragraph 69, supra, including a
semi-annual review of any inmate grievances concerning laundry.
w. documentation describing SCJ's compliance with the
requirement to provide adequate ventilation, including its
semi-annual review of any inmate grievances concerning heating,
cooling and ventilation.
x. copies of the Fire Marshall's reports regarding SCJ as
described in paragraph 74, supra.
y. documentation that the Jail Compliance Unit has
verified that the SCJ has conducted random audits to test staff
proficiency in unlocking all doors manually as described in
paragraph 76, supra.
86. In addition to the Semi-annual Report, the County shall
provide to DOJ, within 130 days of this Agreement, a report
describing its compliance with those tasks for which a 100 day
report is specified.
87. During the term of this Agreement, upon reasonable notice,
the United States and its consultants shall have access to all
facilities referenced in this Agreement and to the records of
inmates and compliance records to the extent necessary to assure
compliance with the specific terms of this Agreement. Upon
request, the County shall provide to the United States, within a
reasonable time, copies of, or access to, SCJ documents or
records and/or documents or records created by any agent or
contractor authorized by Shelby County to work or to provide
services at the SCJ.
88. The United States shall have the right to conduct
confidential interviews with inmates. The County shall continue
to permit inmates to send and to receive confidential legal mail
to attorneys of record, courts and to representatives of the
Department of Justice.
89. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to limit DOJ's
right to request additional documentation and/or conduct
inspections in addition to those specified herein.
V. IMPLEMENTATION, ENFORCEMENT and TERMINATION
90. The County shall implement immediately all provisions of
this Agreement which involve the continuation of current County
policies, procedures, and practices.
91. The County shall provide to DOJ each plan, policy, form
and/or training materials revised pursuant to this Agreement
within the time specified herein. Any subsequent revisions to
these materials shall also be submitted to DOJ during the term of
this Agreement. The United States shall expeditiously review all
plans, policies, procedures, forms and/or training materials for
which this Agreement requires approval from the United States
prior to implementation.
92. In the event that DOJ does not approve policies and
procedures required to be approved pursuant to the terms of this
Agreement, the parties will agree to a schedule for Shelby County
to submit additional revisions for appropriate approval. In any
matter requiring its approval under this Agreement, DOJ shall not
unreasonably withhold any such approval.
93. The parties agree to file this Agreement with the
Court in conjunction with 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 substantial
compliance with the entire agreement and maintaining compliance
for at least one year thereafter. The motion shall request that
the case be placed on the Court's inactive docket.
94. Substantial Compliance with each term of this Agreement
shall fully satisfy the Agreement. The burden shall be on the
County to demonstrate that it is in substantial compliance with
each of the provisions of the Agreement. Noncompliance with mere
technicalities, or temporary failure to comply during a period of
otherwise sustained compliance, shall not constitute failure to
maintain substantial compliance. At the same time, temporary
compliance during a period of otherwise sustained noncompliance
shall not constitute substantial compliance.
95. Substantial compliance may be achieved separately in any of
the four substantive areas addressed in this settlement agreement
(medical and mental health care, security and protection from
harm, environmental health and safety, and/or access to exercise
and to the courts). If the County achieves substantial
compliance in any of the four substantive areas of the Agreement,
prior to achieving full compliance with the entire Agreement, and
then maintains that compliance for a period of one year, then the
County may discontinue those portions of the Semi-annual report
which concern compliance with that substantive area of the
Agreement. The County shall remain obliged, however, to provide
this information, or other specific information requested by the
Department, upon request.
96. The United States reserves the right to file a motion to
restore this case to the Court's active docket for purposes of
litigating the allegations in the Complaint if it believes Shelby
County is not in substantial compliance with the Agreement. The
United States shall give Shelby County thirty (30) calendar days'
written notice before the filing of such motion and will attempt
to resolve such disputes cooperatively.
97. In the event the United States believes that the County has
failed to substantially comply with the terms of this Agreement,
in whole or in part, and such non-compliance threatens the
immediate health and safety of inmates, the United States may,
without further notice, file a motion to restore the case to the
Court's active docket.
98. Once the County has determined that it is in substantial
compliance with this Agreement or any of its four substantive
areas, the County shall notify the United States in writing, by
certified mail, return receipt requested. If the United States
does not provide a written objection to such determination within
forty-five (45) days of receipt of said notice, the County will
be deemed to be in substantial compliance beginning on the date
of the notice. If the United States provides a written objection
to such determination, in whole or in part, the parties shall
make good faith efforts to resolve the dispute. One (1) year
from the date the County has reached and maintained substantial
compliance with the terms of the entire agreement, the parties
shall file a joint motion for final dismissal of this action.
99. In the event that the allegations in the underlying
complaint are litigated (i.e., through a trial or dispositive
motions), this Agreement shall not be introduced or used as
100. Notice under this Agreement shall be provided by Federal
Express overnight delivery and shall be provided to the Shelby
County Sheriff's Legal Advisor, the Shelby County Attorney, and
the United States Department of Justice, at the addresses used in
the signature pages of this Agreement, or as otherwise designated
in written notice to all signers of the Agreement.
101. The parties do not intend to create in any other individual
or entity the status of third party beneficiary, and this
Agreement shall not be construed so as to create such status.
The rights, duties, and obligations contained in this Agreement
shall operate only between the parties to the Agreement, and
shall inure solely to the benefit of the parties to this
Agreement. This Agreement is not intended to impair or expand
the right of any person or organization to seek relief against
the County for its conduct or the conduct of County employees or
agents; accordingly, it does not alter legal standards governing
any such claims.
102. Except as otherwise provided by law, nothing in this
Agreement shall preclude the United States from filing an action
against any of the defendants under any other applicable
provision of law.
103. This Agreement shall be applicable to and binding upon all
parties, their officers, agents, employees, assigns, and their
successors in office, all in their official capacities.
104. The County shall make the substantive terms of this
Agreement available to all inmates by maintaining a complete copy
of the Agreement in the law library, and providing a complete
copy to any inmate upon request.
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
/s/ Terrell L. Harris
TERRELL L. HARRIS
United States Attorney
Western District of
/s/ Ralph F. Boyd, Jr.
RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
/s/ Steven H. Rosenbaum
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
Special Litigation Section
/s/ Mellie H. Nelson
MELLIE H. NELSON
MARY R. BOHAN
TAMMIE M. GREGG
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
P.O. Box 66400
Washington, D.C. 20035-6400
FOR SHELBY COUNTY:
/s/ Jim Rout
Mayor of Shelby County
in his official capacity
/s/ Donnie Wilson
Shelby County Attorney
in his official capacity
FOR THE SHERIFF OF SHELBY COUNTY:
/s/ A.C. Gilless
Sheriff of Shelby County
in his official capacity