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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 3, 2010
Justice Department Reaches Agreement to Correct Conditions at Lake County Jail

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Lake County, Ind., and the Lake County Sheriff to resolve its complaint concerning conditions of confinement at the Lake County Jail (LCJ). LCJ is located in Crown Point, Ind., and houses approximately 1,050 adult male and female inmates.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Lake County will implement remedial measures to ensure that inmates at LCJ are safe and receive the services necessary to meet their constitutional rights.  Some of these measures include provisions to protect inmates from harm due to suicide and the excessive use of force, and comprehensive relief in a wide range of important areas, including medical care, mental health care, fire and life safety and sanitation.  The agreement also provides for improved training for staff and reform of policies, procedures and practices.  The department will monitor compliance with the settlement agreement.

"It is a jurisdiction’s basic responsibility to protect those persons in its custody from harm and to uphold their constitutional rights," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "We commend county officials for their willingness to work aggressively to remedy these problems."

The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) authorizes the department to investigate conditions of confinement in certain institutions owned or operated by, or on behalf of, state and local governments. In addition to psychiatric hospitals, these institutions include nursing homes, residential facilities serving persons with developmental disabilities, jails, prisons and juvenile correctional facilities. CRIPA’s focus is on systemic deficiencies rather than individual, isolated problems. Please visit www.justice.gov/crt to learn more about CRIPA and other laws enforced by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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