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NCJ Number: 167857 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Prison Mental Health Care: Dispute Resolution and Monitoring in Ohio
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:33  Issue:4  Dated:(July-August 1997)  Pages:299-327
Author(s): F Cohen; S Aungst
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The resolution of a class-action lawsuit brought by Ohio inmates and focusing on seriously mentally ill inmates provides guidance for similar litigation.
Abstract: Dunn v. Voinovich was brought in 1993 by adult inmates with serious mental illness confined within all Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction facilities. It alleged that the mental health delivery system was deliberately indifferent to their treatment needs. Counsel for both sides agreed to place the lawsuit on the inactive trial docket and to have a group of independent experts study the system and report to them. The next steps were the study and report by the expert team, the State's development of an action plan based on the report, and negotiations about the consent decree. In July 1995 the United States District Court in Cincinnati approved a 33-page consent decree that was highly specific and followed the experts' report. The decree covers 5 years. The monitoring process has included a consultative phase and, starting in March 1996, an oversight phase. The Ohio experience suggests several principles and processes that other jurisdictions could use to more effectively implement consent decrees or other judicially enforceable remedies. These include leadership support for the change, the need for a certain shared view of the problems and the need for resolution, continuity in the agents of change, a collaborative and mutually respectful posture, and mutual effort based on common interests. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Court ordered institutional reform; Inmate lawsuits; Mentally ill inmates; Offender mental health services; Ohio; Prisoner's rights; Right to treatment
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