An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice

Abstract

This study analyzes Findings Letters in jail Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) cases for the years 1993 through 2013 to improve our understanding of the prevalence, content and correlates of constitutional violations investigated by the Department of Justice. CRIPA authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and file suit against local jail facilities for the unconstitutional conditions of individuals in their care. Investigating the allegations and providing local officials a Findings Letter are the first steps in a CRIPA action and determine what remedial action must be taken to avoid a federal lawsuit. The analysis revealed a high incidence of certain constitutional violations, longitudinal trends, and facility characteristics associated with CRIPA action.

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Correspondence to Jeff Mellow.

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Mellow, J., Peterson, B.E. & Kim, M. An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice. Am J Crim Just 42, 69–85 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-016-9347-5

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Keywords

  • Jail
  • Constitutional violations
  • CRIPA
  • Findings letters