United States District Court, E.D. California
November 5, 2018, the Special Master filed his report based
on the third re-audit and update on suicide prevention
practices in the prisons of the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prepared by the Special
Master's expert Lindsay M. Hayes, M.S. See ECF
No. 5993. The Special Master also provided a copy of Mr.
Hayes' report. ECF No. 5993-1. On November 15, 2018,
defendants filed objections to the recommendations contained
in the Special Master's report. ECF No. 6007. On November
26, 2018, plaintiffs filed a response to defendants'
objections. ECF No. 6014. This order addresses both reports
and resolves the defense objections.
report and recommendations before the court are the fourth in
a series of reports filed by the Special Master and his
suicide prevention expert, Mr. Hayes. The first report was
filed January 14, 2015, ECF Nos. 5258, 5259. It contained a
“comprehensive” set of recommendations for action
by defendants to enhance their suicide prevention policies
and practices. Order filed Feb. 3, 2015, ECF No. 5271 at 2.
On February 3, 2015, this court ordered defendants to adopt
those recommendations. Id. at 3. There were a total
of thirty-two recommendations in the initial report.
See ECF No. 5396 at 4. After Mr. Hayes' second
re-audit, he and the Special Master recommended withdrawal of
three of those recommendations. ECF Nos. 5671, 5672. On
January 25, 2018, the court adopted, inter alia, the
latter recommendation, ECF No. 5762 at 3, leaving twenty-nine
recommendations to be completed.
Special Master's Current Recommendations
report now before the court, the Special Master recommends
(1) That the Court reject defendants' proposal to
activate a temporary unlicensed 20-bed MHCB [mental health
crisis bed] unit at RJD [Richard J. Donovan Correctional
(2) That the Court order defendants to continue to implement
the remaining 29 initial recommendations and develop
corrective action plans based upon deficiencies found in Mr.
Hayes' most recent assessment; and
(3) That the Court order the Special Master to provide an
update report to the Court on the status of defendants'
continued implementation of the initial recommendations and
the development of related corrective action plans.
ECF No. 5993 at 10.
Defendants' Objections and Plaintiffs'
raise two objections to the report and its recommendation.
First, defendants object on several grounds to the Special
Master's recommendation that the court reject the
proposal to activate a temporary unlicensed MHCB at RJD.
Second, defendants request clarification of the expert's
report “with respect to a Quality Improvement Plan
[(QIP)] that issued following a suicide at San Quentin State
Prison (SQ).” ECF No. 6007 at 7. Plaintiffs oppose
defendants' objection to the recommendation concerning
the unlicensed MHCBs at RJD, on several grounds, and they
contend defendants have waived their request for
clarification of the expert's report with respect to the
QIP that issued at SQ by not raising it with the Special
Master previously. ECF No. 6014, passim.
DEFENDANTS' REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION OF EXPERT'S
court will not consider defendants' request for
clarification of the finding concerning the QIP issued after
a suicide at SQ. Defendants had an opportunity to submit to
the Special Master objections to the expert's draft third
re-audit report, and they did so. ECF No. 5993 at 31-41.
Nowhere in those objections did defendants request
clarification of the expert's report concerning the QIP
they now raise. See id., passim. As a
result defendants have waived this objection, given the
ground rules established for this case long ago. See
Order of Reference, ECF No. 640 at 8 (“The court will
entertain no objection to the report unless an identical
objection was previously submitted to the special master in
the form of a specific written objection. . .”).
PROPOSED TEMPORARY MHCB UNIT AT RJD
propose converting twenty cells in an administrative
segregation unit at RJD to unlicensed MHCB beds and closing a
temporary unlicensed 20-bed Mental Health Outpatient Housing
Unit (MHOHU) at California State Prison-Sacramento (CSP-Sac).
The Special Master recommends rejection of this proposal,
which he represents has been extensively discussed and has
received “careful consideration” through the All
Parties Workgroup Process. The Special Master shares Mr.
Hayes' concerns that “activation of the unit would
result in deplorable conditions unacceptable for class
members needing an MHCB level of care.” ECF No. 5993 at
8. Mr. Hayes' concerns, which are elaborated in his
report, can be summarized as follows:
(1) While the proposal includes retrofitting the cells at RJD
to make them suicide-resistant, the cells could not be
enlarged and would remain dark: “the 20 cells that
comprise this proposed MHCB unit would simply resemble
retrofitted new intake cells commonly found in administrative
segregation units.” ECF No. 5993-1 at 34.
(2) As retrofitted administrative segregation unit cells, the
floor size of each cell would be “dramatically less
than the traditional MHCB room found in licensed
facilities” and “MHCB suicide-resistant beds
regularly found in licensed MHCB units would not fit
in these cells.” Id. (emphasis in original).
(3) Proposed locations for clinical offices and interview
rooms risk compromising privacy and confidentiality of
patient communications. Id.
(4) The inmate-patients in the proposed converted unit would
compete for yard time with administrative segregation
inmates, making it “very challenging” to schedule
adequate yard time and, in any event, “all MHCB
patients (regardless of security classification level) would
be required to be placed in the special management
‘walk-alone' yards because it is the only
option available in the administrative segregation unit
yard.” Id. (emphasis in original).
(5) Defendants have no plans to install fencing or netting to
prevent suicidal MHCB patients from jumping from the second
tier where some proposed converted ...