United States District Court, E.D. California
6, 2016, the Special Master filed his Twenty-Sixth Round
Monitoring Report. ECF No. 5439. The report contains five
recommendations for orders by this court. Neither party has
filed objections to the report or its recommendations.
twenty-sixth round of monitoring, the Special Master and his
team conducted on-site visits at all thirty-four California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prison
institutions. ECF No. 5439 at 11. The Twenty-Sixth Round
Monitoring Report is a comprehensive report of his findings.
As explained in this order, the court is surprised and
disappointed by some of the findings and heartened by others.
At this juncture, over twenty years after remedial efforts
began in this action, the importance of bringing diligence,
focus, and constructive action to the tasks that remain
necessary to complete remediation and bring an end to federal
court oversight cannot be overstated. The court acknowledges,
with an appreciation of the immensity of the remediation
project, the enormous efforts of everyone involved - the
Special Master and his team, the plaintiffs, and the
defendants and all of the state employees who are attending
in good faith assiduously to their obligations under the
orders of this court. The court also is acutely aware of the
lengthy history of this case, the needs of the plaintiff
class for, finally, a complete remedy, and defendants’
desire to be relieved of court supervision.
court explained at a status conference approximately one year
ago, this case should be on a path to concluding sooner
rather than later, however sooner is defined. ECF No. 5342 at
3. It is this court’s expectation that, with clearly
articulated goals and without unnecessary sidesteps, complete
remediation can indeed be achieved in the foreseeable future.
Planning must, however, be accompanied by prompt action.
Repetition of efforts that clearly have failed in the past
must be abandoned. And defendants must take a hard look at
where they are housing mentally ill inmates if, as the
evidence suggests, there are places and prisons where
sufficient staff simply cannot be hired and adequate care
cannot be provided.
road map to the end of federal court oversight is clear. In
2011, the Special Master identified “seven general
goals” for defendants:
(1) Re-evaluation and updating of CDCR suicide prevention
policies and practices;
(2) Ensuring that seriously mentally ill inmates are properly
identified, referred, and transferred to receive the higher
levels of mental health care that they need and that are only
available from the Department of Mental Health
(3) Review of, and compliance with, all elements of their
Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) Enhanced Outpatient
Program (EOP) Treatment Improvement Plan, including the
conduct of a review every 30 days of all EOP inmates housed
in ASU hubs for over 90 days;
(4) Completion of the construction of mental health treatment
space and beds for inmates at varying levels of care;
(5) Full implementation of defendants’ new mental
health staffing plan;
(6) Training of staff for greater collaboration between
custody and mental health; and
(7) Refinement and implementation of the Mental Health
Tracking System (MHTS.net) to its fullest extent and benefit.
ECF No. 4124 at 85. The Special Master found in 2011 that
there had “been progress toward some of these
extended detours into litigation in 2013, the court issued
orders outlining additional remedial obligations regarding
adequacy of DSH inpatient programs, ECF No. 4688, access to
higher levels of care for California’s condemned
inmates, ECF No. 4951, policies regarding use of force,
disciplinary procedures, and strip searches involving
mentally ill inmates, and placement of mentally ill inmates
in administrative segregation and segregated housing units.
ECF No. 5131. In addition, on March 2, 2015, this court
approved a final settlement in Hecker v. CDCR, No.
2:05-cv-2441 KJM DAD, a class action brought under the
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