Agreement Between the United States and the Westchester County Department of Correction. November 2015.
This agreement with Westchester County, New York resolves the United States’ long-running investigation into Westchester County Jail (the Jail) under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the agreement “implements a resolution of the Government’s findings regarding the Jail’s use of force against inmates, its use of isolation as a method of discipline for minors incarcerated at the jail, and its provision of inadequate medical and mental health care to inmates.” Key findings of the investigation included, among others, that the Jail had “failed to provide adequate medical and mental health care, particularly with respect to minors housed in isolation in the punitive segregation unit of the Jail.”
The agreement sets forth various corrective measures that the Jail must implement. With respect to minors and segregation, “the agreement requires that the Jail cease its practice of placing minors under 18 years old in isolation or punitive segregation, and that it develop systems to address disciplinary issues in a manner that is consistent with minors’ needs and that does not deprive them of access to certain programs and services. The agreement also requires the development and implementation of alternative approaches to discipline for 18-year-old inmates.”
The agreement provides for the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure the Jail’s compliance, and will last for three years or until substantial compliance has been achieved.
Keywords: CRIPA, civil rights, federal investigation, juveniles, children, young adults, developmentally-appropriate, age-appropriate, disciplinary segregation, discipline, jail, mental health, mental healthcare, mental illness, Valhalla, New York