WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Justice Department today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with the State of Indiana regarding civil rights violations at two state-operated juvenile justice facilities: Logansport Juvenile Intake/Diagnostic Facility in Logansport and South Bend Juvenile Correctional Facility in South Bend.
The agreement, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, requires the state to implement reforms to ensure that juveniles in the facilities are adequately protected from harm and provide adequate services including mental healthcare and special education.
“Juveniles in the care of the state have a right to be safe. They also have a right to adequate services to promote their rehabilitation,” said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “We applaud the leadership of Governor Mitch Daniels and his administration in acting promptly to implement the necessary reforms embodied in the agreement.”
The 19-month investigation revealed multiple civil rights violations including numerous instances of youth violence and inadequate supervision by staff, inadequate special education services, and deficiencies in mental health care. Under the terms of the agreement, the state will address and correct all of the violations identified by the Department.
The Civil Rights Division conducted its investigation pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980 (CRIPA). These statutes allow the federal government to identify and root out systemic abuses such as those identified in this case, rather than focus on individual civil rights violations.
The Civil Rights Division has successfully resolved similar investigations of other juvenile justice facilities in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Investigations concerning juvenile justice facilities are pending in Hawaii, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
The Department of Justice’s enforcement effort reaches beyond juvenile facilities. Since 2001, the Department of Justice has opened 58 similar investigations into the terms and conditions of confinement at nursing homes, mental health facilities, residences for persons with developmental disabilities, jails, and prisons.
More information about the Special Litigation Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/split/index.html.