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I have determined that the Special Master applied the correct legal principles to the conditions at the UCJ and drew the correct conclusion as to the constitutionality of those conditions. The population at the UCJ consists of both pretrial detainees and sentenced inmates, but pretrial detainees are in the majority. The Constitution requires different avenues of inquiry in evaluating the conditions under which these classes of persons may be confined. Bell v. Wolfish, supra, U.

The Court stated in Wolfish that pretrial detainees are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment against the deprivation of liberty without due process of law and they therefore have a right to be free from punishment prior to an adjudication of guilt. Thus, the test to be applied to the overcrowded conditions at the UCJ is whether they amount to the punishment of this group of inmates. Manson, F. Jenkins, F. Pierce, F. A determination must be made as to whether the condition or restriction is "imposed for the purpose of punishment or whether it is but an incident of some other legitimate governmental purpose.

The Wolfish Court further articulated this standard:. I concur with the Special Master's conclusions that there has been no express intent to punish the inmates at the UCJ on the part of either the defendants or the third-party defendant. The determination, then, of whether the conditions at the UCJ violate the constitutional rights of the pretrial detainees confined there must depend on analysis of the reasons for and the reasonableness of those conditions. The Court in Wolfish considered the operation of a detention facility in a manageable fashion to be a "valid objective that may The restriction or condition at issue in this litigation is the severe overcrowding of the facility and the impact of the excess population on the provision of services and programs, especially recreation and visitation.

I would add that the interests of local and state governments in not releasing onto the streets either pretrial detainees who are not bail worthy or convicted inmates are legitimate ones that may justify the severely overcrowded condition at the UCJ. However, the due process rights of the pretrial detainees will have been violated by this condition if it is excessive in relation to the legitimate interest sought to justify it. Judged by this standard, I have determined that the Special Master correctly found that the due process rights of the pretrial plaintiffs have been violated.

This conclusion does not mean that there is a "one man, one cell" principle engrafted onto the Fourteenth Amendment. It is clear that the Supreme Court has not adopted a per se rule against double-celling. However, the Court has also not ruled that double-celling is per se constitutional. The Court examined the totality of the circumstances in determining that the pretrial detainees at the MCC did not endure genuine hardships. It was intended to include the most advanced and innovative features of modern design of detention facilities. The inmates at MCC are double-bunked in rooms measuring 75 square feet.

The cells, while designed for single occupancy, have been furnished with double bunk beds in order to accommodate the excess population. While The UCJ is a traditional jail. As outlined above, the cells at the UCJ have a floor space of 39 square feet inclusive of furniture and fixtures. Double-celling has been accomplished by placing a second mattress on the floor of the cell.

While inmates are confined to these cells only during the night hours, during the daytime period they do not have open access to a large dayroom or common area. The cell corridors are narrow and necessarily overcrowded to the same extent that the cells are overcrowded. Recreation in the dayroom is available only in shifts and with the population at approximately , the staff has not been able to provide more than two hours of recreation per week.

The Special Master found that under these conditions the practice of double-celling was unconstitutional, particularly because of the use of floor mattresses but also because of the impact of overcrowding on recreational and visitation opportunities. The use of mattresses in the detention cells and in other areas of the UCJ was also considered to be unconstitutional by the Special Master. I shall first review his findings with respect to the use of mattresses.

I agree with the Special Master that the use of floor mattresses constitutes punishment without due process of law in contravention of the rights of pretrial detainees. See Lareau v. Manson, supra ; Vazquez v. The practice is unsanitary, dehumanizing, and shocking. In Lareau, F. I do not agree that the caselaw supports a finding of per se unconstitutionality.

Under the test articulated in Wolfish, supra, U. The clearer the hardship, the shorter the period of time before it raises serious questions under the Due Process Clause. With respect to the use of floor mattresses in the general population cells, detention cells or other areas of the UCJ, I find that such means are permissible only during an emergency and only if no detainee is so confined for a period longer than 48 to 72 hours.

It would be preferable if collapsible cots were available at least for use in the library or laundry areas. If the defendants are confronted with an "emergency" of longer duration, they are instructed to comply with the other provisions of my order detailed below. See Appendix B. In a footnote, the Special Master restricted his consideration of the constitutionality of confining two detainees to a cell to the condition of using mattresses to accomplish "double-celling" and declined to reach the issue of "double-bunking.

I specially ordered the parties to address the feasibility and constitutionality of double-bunking at the hearing on March 25, The County complied with my request for supplemental briefing by stating that the bunks presently being used in the temporary dormitory cannot be utilized in the general population cells because of the height of the cells. I concur with the third-party defendant that this information is an inadequate response to my directions. The feasibility of other and different forms of bunk beds has not been addressed by the party most familiar with the structural properties of the UCJ.

However, for purposes of my analysis under the Fourteenth Amendment, I shall assume that some form of double-bunking is possible. There can be no doubt that using a double bunk bed is an obviously more sensible manner of providing a person with a place to sleep. However, the issue is still whether this solution passes muster constitutionally under all the conditions at the UCJ. In this Court's judgment it does not. In a detention facility with larger cells, the arguments of the third-party defendant would be quite plausible. Here, the cell space is, at most, paltry.

While the use of a frame bed does mean that an inmate is not required to sleep on the floor next to the urinal, subject to sewage back-up, etc. Furthermore, this Court must maintain its focus on the issue of whether the UCJ meets minimum standards of decency. Such spatial starvation cannot pass muster constitutionally. Even the incarcerated are entitled to something more than a walk-in closet. Furthermore, there is no relief during the day from the adverse effects of overcrowding.

As the Special Master found:.

SMR, at If I assume that only half of the cells on any one tier are to be double-bunked under the Commissioner's proposed remedy, [17] the average corridor space per person for daytime use will be between 15 and 21 square feet. Added to one person's share of the space of a double-bunked cell, a pretrial detainee at the UCJ is restricted nearly twenty-four hours a day to an area which the Court in Wolfish ruled was barely sufficient for sleeping purposes.

It falls far short of the square feet governing new prison construction in this state. Other courts have found jails with similar or more generous spatial dimensions than those in the UCJ unconstitutional. See Lareau, supra ; Campbell v. Cauthron, F. Thus based solely on considerations of space, I find that double-celling or double-bunking at the UCJ subjects pretrial detainees to genuine hardships amounting to punishment in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. My decision does not rest upon an incorporation into the Due Process Clause of the various correction associations' recommendations with respect to the number of square feet appropriate for daytime space in a jail such as that contained in N.

See Wolfish, supra. However, the 30 to 40 square feet allotted to a double-bunked detainee is grossly inadequate in comparison to any of these professional standards. Furthermore, overcrowded cells cannot be examined for constitutionality in isolation from the overall circumstances in the facility. In MCC, the hardships, if any, which are imposed upon pretrial detainees by double-bunking are mitigated by the unlimited daytime access to the large common areas.

In UCJ, the more serious privations are aggravated by the overcrowded corridors, and the lack of meaningful recreation and other necessities. For the female inmates, there is a lack of any recreation. As found by the Special Master, the County has been unable to provide the inmates with daily recreation off the tier. This is attributable to two factors. The recreation room has been reduced from 1, square feet to square feet in order to erect a temporary dormitory for the men during the overcrowding emergency.

In addition, the sheer size of the population has overburdened the staff and necessitated a shortening of the recreation time available to each inmate. Yet, recreation, as testified to by Gary Hilton, Assistant Commissioner of Corrections, before the Special Master, is one of the most important programs in a county jail setting for alleviating physical and mental stress. Hilton recommended that a commitment should be made by the County to improve the off-tier recreation facilities. The Commissioner proposes that elimination of the temporary dormitories for the men and women in conjunction with the establishment of a double-bunking practice would remedy any unconstitutional condition at the UCJ.

I find this proposal to be unsatisfactory. It is doubtful that recreation will improve so long as the population is as high as it has been for several months even if the size of the recreation room is returned to its normal dimensions. The third-party defendant, in effect, is proposing a trade-off of one "genuine privation" for another. Either the pretrial detainees suffer increased crowding in the cells in order to enjoy slightly improved recreation opportunity or they suffer with the present recreation situation in order to enjoy slightly less crowded cells.

Nor is access to a crowded corridor an adequate substitution for real exercise and recreation. The Special Master found the corridors sufficient only for passive activities, such as watching television. At the hearing, the Attorney General on behalf of the third-party defendant suggested, "The best recreation is walking. You can read that in every newspaper article about health and fitness. Yet, the Eighth Circuit in Campbell v.

While I appreciate the salutory effect of walking as an exercise, walking in the cramped corridors of the UCJ cannot satisfy the requirement of providing an inmate with a "healthy habilitative environment. Anderson, F. By any reasonable standard, the provision for recreation and exercise at the UCJ at the present population level is woefully inadequate. The overcrowded condition of the UCJ is the cause not only of inadequate recreation but also, as found by the Special Master, of reduced visitation privileges.

This, too, aggravates the tensions already present because of double-bunking. I have determined that double-bunking at the UCJ violates the due process rights of pretrial detainees. It constitutes "confining a given number of people in a given amount of space in such a manner as to cause them to endure genuine privations and hardships over an extended period of time. In addition to pretrial detainees, there are confined at the UCJ inmates already sentenced to county or state terms of imprisonment.

Because these persons have been convicted, the Constitution does not protect them from all punishment but only from cruel and unusual punishment. Rhodes v. He also found that sentenced inmates were deprived of adequate recreational opportunity to the same extent as pretrial detainees. See Miller v. Carson, F. In Rhodes, supra, the Court set forth the yardstick to be applied in measuring a prison condition under the Eighth Amendment:. The Court reviewed the findings of the district court and concluded that they did not substantiate its ultimate finding of unconstitutionality.

The cells at SOCF are 63 square feet and contain a bunk bed, night stand, sink with hot and cold running water, a sanitary toilet, and a wall-mounted shelf, cabinet and radio. They are heated and ventilated, and some even have a window that inmates can open and close. In sum, as the Court stated, "though small, the cells at SOCF are exceptionally modern and functional. As a result of double-celling at SOCF, job and educational opportunities had diminished "marginally". Rhodes, supra, U.

However, it "had not reduced significantly the availability of space in the day rooms or visitation facilities. In light of these findings, Justice Powell, writing for the Court concluded:. Wolfish, U. When such conditions "alone or in combination The conditions of overcrowding and double-celling are not to be viewed in isolation.

Rather, provision of space must be viewed against the totality of conditions. See also, Stewart v. Winter, F. Estelle, F. Thompson, F. I agree with the Special Master that requiring sentenced inmates to sleep for long periods of time on mattresses positioned on the floor constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

It is a "reprehensible and dehumanizing" practice. The practice deprives these inmates of the essential requirement of habitable shelter. As stated by the Tenth Circuit, shelter is a core area of concern under the Eighth Amendment and it goes beyond having a solid roof over one's head:. Ramos v. Lamm, F. Even considering the incremental improvement in living conditions at the UCJ that would occur upon substituting bunk beds for mattresses, the stark reality is that 30 square feet of daytime space or See, e.

But the practice of housing three or four inmates on mattresses is deplorable and cannot be countenanced. Although the standard against which the court must judge conditions imposed upon sentenced offenders is more stringent than that which guides the analysis of conditions of confinement of pretrial detainees, I find that the conditions at the UCJ are too egregious to satisfy either standard. In sum, I will accept the proposed conclusions of law of the Special Master, as modified by my consideration of the constitutionality of a double-bunking practice at the UCJ.

I must now turn my attention to fashioning an appropriate remedy for these constitutional violations. I am very mindful of the delicate balance established by the Constitution between federal and state governments. See Rizzo v. Especially in the area of prison administration, judicial restraint is necessary in order to ensure that the business of operating a state corrections system stays in the hands of persons most able to accomplish this difficult task.

These admonitions give a federal court pause to consider the implications of interfering in a local jail problem. Nevertheless it is a solemn duty of a district court to "scrupulously" observe whether there has been a constitutional failing in a challenged jail facility. Wolfish, supra ; Procunier v.

In Procunier, supra, U. As I have determined that the UCJ as it is presently operated offends the fundamental guarantees of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, I must complete the task required of me by the Constitution. It has been noted previously that all the parties agree that the UCJ is seriously overcrowded and that the single most pervasive cause for this condition is the continued presence of state sentenced inmates. The confinement of state inmates in the UCJ is caused, in turn, by the valid and reasonable exercise of powers vested in the Commissioner under the Governor's Executive Orders.

Fauver, supra, 88 N. Consequently, the overburdened Union County facility, as detailed above, has succumbed to other egregious conditions, such as the lack of meaningful recreation and visitation, and the lack of adequate living space, which undermine its habitability. I have concluded on this basis that the environment at the UCJ is so degenerative and unhealthy as to be constitutionally impermissible.


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As the Executive Orders have contributed substantially to this unconstitutional situation, under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution the Executive Orders as applied to the UCJ must yield. VI, cl. See also Jacobson v. The administrative action designating the UCJ as the place of confinement of state sentenced inmates is void and N. This Court, however, is not unmindful of the good faith efforts of this administration and the previous administration to find a solution to the problem of overcrowding. Governor Kean has taken special note of this crisis. He indicated in his budget message, delivered on March 15, , the State's role and its responsibility in the matter of insufficient county jail bedspaces:.

One of the measures which the Governor is taking in response to this emergency, in addition to seeking appropriations for new prison construction, is the execution of a lease with the United States Army for the use of the stockade at Fort Dix. At my request, Commissioner Fauver submitted an affidavit outlining the timetable for the transfer of inmates to Fort Dix, to be designated as the Mid-State Correctional Facility:.

Affidavit of William H. Hopefully this facility will go some of the distance toward rectifying the State's "neglect". I am persuaded by the good faith representations of the third-party defendant that at least a temporary solution to the UCJ situation can feasibly be arranged by approximately June 15, Insofar as the State is acting with reasonable alacrity in this matter, I will stay the operation of N.

The stay will provide the State with sufficient leeway to enable it to administer the transfer of state sentenced inmates from the UCJ. Whether the measures proposed by the administration will suffice beyond the immediate moment and solve the long-run crisis of a burgeoning prison population should give the public pause, but it is not an issue properly before this Court. Nor does this Court have jurisdiction to order alternative relief in the form of, e. That clearly is the duty of the state legislature.

My duty is to order speedy but fair relief for the plaintiffs to remedy the constitutionally impermissible conditions under which they are confined before the hot summer months ignite this tinderbox. I have also determined that the County, which is primarily responsible for providing a constitutional jail, is not to be relieved of the consent judgment it voluntarily entered into except in one respect. That rule provides in pertinent part:.

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On the motion to set aside the consent order, the County has the burden of proving that the order is too burdensome under circumstances that have significantly changed since the settlement was entered into. See United States v. Although Swift was decided prior to the enactment of the federal rules, it continues as the standard for equitable relief from a judgment. In Swift, the Court stated:. The order being entered as a result of this decision relieves the County of a substantial burden.

It in effect grants to the County the injunction on the third-party complaint sought by it prior to my appointment of the Special Master. Furthermore, circumstances have not changed significantly since the County entered into the stipulation of settlement. As stated by Judge Lasker in the Southern District of New York in a similar State prison-County jail context: "Moreover, the only circumstance which has changed an increase in the population of the State's prison population was entirely foreseeable in [October], , and had been for a long period before that date.

Because I believe that the provision in the consent order requiring the County to close the doors to the UCJ as a "last-resort" measure is an unnecessarily intrusive and disruptive one, I will relieve the County of complying with it. In its stead, the County is directed to exhaust in good faith all other avenues of relief set forth in that order and then to seek relief in this Court.

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As the County has not filed any objections to the report of the Special Master and as I have concurred in all material respects with the findings and conclusions of that report, the County shall be ordered to implement a medical screening program, to reinstate the recreation and visitation programs to prior levels, and to comply with N.

I note the representations made by the County to the Special Master that lighting on the tiers will be improved and that additional medical and dental personnel will be hired. One final remedial measure must be established: a maximum population capacity. While the Second Circuit has preferred a more flexible mechanism, see Lareau, supra, the circumstances of the UCJ make it more appropriate to use a "cap". In this case, all the parties have either consented to or admitted that the capacity of the UCJ is See Letter from William H.

In light of my order directing the Commissioner to remove the state sentenced inmates by July 1, , I find that the County should have until July 1, , to implement the "cap" as a reasonable accommodation of all interests. I will retain jurisdiction in order to monitor compliance with the order being entered on this decision. The Special Master is to report to the Court every sixty days until discharged. Defendant Colletti is to report on the County's actions pursuant to this order every sixty days until ordered otherwise. The report is to be served upon the parties, the Special Master, the Court, the County Prosecutor, the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the assignment and criminal assignment judges of the County.

It is further ORDERED that the Special Master shall conduct a thorough examination into the totality of the conditions at the Union County Jail in accordance with the guidelines set forth below and in this Court's Opinion of January 29th, and shall submit to the Court his proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether the overcrowded condition of the jail is violative of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution with respect to sentenced inmates or of the Fourteenth Amendment with respect to pretrial detainees; and. With prior approval of this Court, the Special Master may also consult appropriate, independent specialists.

The notice shall emphasize that the Special Master's function is only to aid the Court in its determination of the constitutionality of the over-crowded condition of the jail and of the defendants' compliance with the Court's Order of October 22, ; that his appointment is not to be considered as providing any substitute for, or addition to the regular grievance and disciplinary procedures of the jail; that he is not to investigate, to arbitrate, or to interfere with the disposition of the grievances or complaints of individual inmates or staff members; that if the Special Master desires any information from either inmates or staff with respect to such matters, he will initiate the matter; and that if any person, inmate or staff member desires to bring any matter to the attention of the Special Master, he or she may do so only by making the desire known to counsel for the parties, who will then decide whether to bring the matter to the attention of the Special Master.

The notices to be posted throughout the Union County Jail shall state the name and address of counsel for the plaintiff class, counsel for the defendants, and counsel for the third-party defendant. The notices shall remain posted until the Special Master has been discharged. The form of the notices shall be drafted by counsel and fixed by the Special Master; and it is further. ORDERED that not later than forty-five 45 days after his appointment, the Special Master shall file his proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law as to whether the Union County Jail is unconstitutionally overcrowded.

The report shall separately address the following specific issues:. With respect to each issue, the Special Master shall, if appropriate, set forth a proposed timetable for the institution of any changes which he recommends, and a proposed classification scheme for any releases which may be necessary; and. As to each item of the Stipulation of Settlement and Consent Order, the report should show:. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall have ten 10 days after the Special Master submits his report to serve written objections with the Court and other parties if they so desire; and.

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The Court shall accept the Master's findings of fact unless clearly erroneous. The Court after hearing may adopt the report or may modify it or may reject it in whole or in part or may receive further evidence or may recommit it with instructions; and. It is further ORDERED that after the filing of the initial report on defendants' compliance with the Court's Order, the Special Master shall file reports not less often than every sixty 60 days, until he finds that the defendants and third-party defendant have fully complied with the Court's Order of October 22, , or any Supplemental Orders of the Court, and that such compliance has continued for a sufficient length of time to make a lapse into noncompliance improbable.

At that time, the Special Master may recommend his discharge; and. The Special Master shall keep a record of the time spent in connection with his duties, which he shall submit to the defendants every thirty 30 days for processing and payment; and. This matter having come before the Court on the motion of the third-party defendant, William H. The Court having considered the Report of the Special Master, the objections of the parties, supplemental briefs and affidavits, and for the reasons expressed in its opinion of April 27, ,. It is further ORDERED that no person who is or shall be incarcerated at the Union County Jail be required to sleep on a mattress placed on the floor of any cell or in any other area of the facility for longer than seventy-two 72 hours, after which time he or she shall be assigned to a single cell for at least two weeks, unless released or transferred sooner.

It is further ORDERED that defendant Coletti complete a report every sixty 60 days setting forth the weekly population figures for the preceding sixty day period, and the extent and means of compliance with this Court's order, and shall serve such report upon this Court, the Special Master, plaintiffs' counsel, County counsel, the Commissioner of Corrections, the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the County Prosecutor, the Assignment Judge of Union County, and the Criminal Assignment Judge of Union County. The Special Master found that the double-celling practice has had its greatest impact on the pretrial segment of the population.

Double-celling reduces the night space per inmate from 39 square feet to As stated above, the floor space is nonexistent.

The cell corridor space is also decreased in proportion to the number of cells on the tier that are housing two persons. If half the cells on a tier are being used to house two inmates, the average corridor space per inmate for daytime use is between 15 and 21 square feet, depending on the particular tier. If all the cells on a tier have double occupancy, the corridor space per inmate is only between 11 and 14 square feet. The cell corridor on the women's tier is even more crowded when total double-celling occurs because the women in the temporary dormitory are also confined there during the daytime hours.

When the population at the UCJ has surpassed , some inmates have been assigned to mattresses placed on the floor in the laundry area or law library area. These inmates continue to sleep in these areas until the population is reduced, or until they are released or transferred. Some of these cells are being used to house as many as four inmates, of whom three must sleep on mattresses laid out on the floor. Inmates in these cells are confined there for all but a few hours a week. Some of the detention cells are equipped with a toilet fixture and group showers are provided daily.

The Special Master further found that the severely overcrowded conditions at the UCJ have had an adverse impact on the support services and inmate programs provided. Recreational opportunity has been especially curtailed due to the increased population and the decreased space available for recreation. Recreation for male inmates is limited to no more than one hour periods, twice per week, which time is also used for access to the law library.

The recreational equipment available to the men consists of a ping-pong table and a weight machine. Recreation for the female inmates has been totally eliminated since that room was converted into dormitory space. No outdoor exercise area is provided or feasible because of the UCJ's urban location. The Special Master stated in his findings with respect to this program: "Under existing conditions, I find that there is almost no realistic opportunity for male inmates to enjoy recreation while confined at the UCJ.

Visitation privileges have also been curtailed as a result of the severe overcrowding. Formerly, inmates could receive visitors three times a week for up to one-half hour. Currently, the visitation period must be limited to five or ten minutes and even with that adjustment, not all visitors can be accommodated. In addition to the impact of the overcrowded conditions on recreation and visitation, the Special Master found that there has been some noncompliance with the State regulation requiring that inmates be provided clean clothes weekly and clean towels daily.

Other programs, although they are being administered, have naturally been overburdened by the demands of an increased population. The lack of a screening medical examination during the admission process, while not a phenomenon related to the overcrowding, was found to pose a serious health risk to all inmates. Instances of fighting amongst inmates have increased due to the overcrowded conditions at the UCJ. Tension has also increased. These present problems could develop into an extremely serious security problem if the UCJ continues at its current population levels into the hot summer months.

There have been no fundamental objections raised by the parties with respect to the Special Master's proposed findings of fact.

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The County has not filed any objections to the report. The Commissioner's objections with respect to the findings of fact refer only to the Special Master's recommended remedy for alleviating the conditions at the UCJ. Consideration of these objections will be deferred until I have discussed the proposed conclusions of law.

The Public Defender has suggested that the proposed findings of fact as to adequacy of certain services are not erroneous if taken in tandem with the improvements already promised by the County, e. As the County has represented that these services will be improved, I do not find that consideration of this objection is necessary.

I have determined that none of the proposed findings of fact are clearly erroneous, and I shall therefore adopt them without modification. Based upon the facts as found, the Special Master concluded that the overcrowded conditions at the UCJ do amount to punishment of the pretrial detainees, Bell v.

Wolfish, supra , and cruel and unusual punishment of sentenced inmates, Rhodes v. Chapman, supra. Specifically, he suggested that the total impact of the following conditions violate the due process rights of the pretrial detainees:. With respect to sentenced inmates, the Special Master applied the Rhodes standard and proposed that "the totality of the conditions currently existing in the UCJ is so severe, in at least two respects, that it exceeds contemporary standards of dignity, humanity and decency and therefore constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Those two respects are the confinement of more than one inmate in each detention cell on floor mattresses for more than several days and the utilization of floor mattresses in the general population cells, library, and laundry areas, for extended periods of time. The Special Master, pursuant to the Order of Reference dated January 29, , also addressed the issue of the maximum jail capacity that could be constitutionally accommodated. A proposal consisting of certain structural changes put forward by the third-party defendant was rejected primarily because its implementation would exacerbate the already insufficient recreation opportunity.

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Secondarily, the Special Master found that the "benefit" to be gained from these proposed temporary solutions was substantially outweighed by the costs. Furthermore, it was recommended in the report that both the County and the Commissioner be given a reasonable period of time in which to reduce the jail population to the cap. The Commissioner should act by removing the state sentenced inmates; the County should act through the means stipulated to in the Consent Judgment of October 22, Objections have been raised by the third-party defendant to the legal standards applied by the Special Master and the legal conclusions drawn therefrom.

As stated above, Fed. I have determined that the Special Master applied the correct legal principles to the conditions at the UCJ and drew the correct conclusion as to the constitutionality of those conditions. The population at the UCJ consists of both pretrial detainees and sentenced inmates, but pretrial detainees are in the majority. The Constitution requires different avenues of inquiry in evaluating the conditions under which these classes of persons may be confined. Bell v. Wolfish, supra, U. The Court stated in Wolfish that pretrial detainees are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment against the deprivation of liberty without due process of law and they therefore have a right to be free from punishment prior to an adjudication of guilt.

Thus, the test to be applied to the overcrowded conditions at the UCJ is whether they amount to the punishment of this group of inmates. Manson, F. Jenkins, F. Pierce, F. A determination must be made as to whether the condition or restriction is "imposed for the purpose of punishment or whether it is but an incident of some other legitimate governmental purpose.

The Wolfish Court further articulated this standard:. I concur with the Special Master's conclusions that there has been no express intent to punish the inmates at the UCJ on the part of either the defendants or the third-party defendant. The determination, then, of whether the conditions at the UCJ violate the constitutional rights of the pretrial detainees confined there must depend on analysis of the reasons for and the reasonableness of those conditions.

The Court in Wolfish considered the operation of a detention facility in a manageable fashion to be a "valid objective that may The restriction or condition at issue in this litigation is the severe overcrowding of the facility and the impact of the excess population on the provision of services and programs, especially recreation and visitation. I would add that the interests of local and state governments in not releasing onto the streets either pretrial detainees who are not bail worthy or convicted inmates are legitimate ones that may justify the severely overcrowded condition at the UCJ.

However, the due process rights of the pretrial detainees will have been violated by this condition if it is excessive in relation to the legitimate interest sought to justify it. Judged by this standard, I have determined that the Special Master correctly found that the due process rights of the pretrial plaintiffs have been violated.

This conclusion does not mean that there is a "one man, one cell" principle engrafted onto the Fourteenth Amendment. It is clear that the Supreme Court has not adopted a per se rule against double-celling. However, the Court has also not ruled that double-celling is per se constitutional.

The Court examined the totality of the circumstances in determining that the pretrial detainees at the MCC did not endure genuine hardships. It was intended to include the most advanced and innovative features of modern design of detention facilities. The inmates at MCC are double-bunked in rooms measuring 75 square feet. The cells, while designed for single occupancy, have been furnished with double bunk beds in order to accommodate the excess population. While The UCJ is a traditional jail. As outlined above, the cells at the UCJ have a floor space of 39 square feet inclusive of furniture and fixtures.

Double-celling has been accomplished by placing a second mattress on the floor of the cell. While inmates are confined to these cells only during the night hours, during the daytime period they do not have open access to a large dayroom or common area. The cell corridors are narrow and necessarily overcrowded to the same extent that the cells are overcrowded.

Recreation in the dayroom is available only in shifts and with the population at approximately , the staff has not been able to provide more than two hours of recreation per week. The Special Master found that under these conditions the practice of double-celling was unconstitutional, particularly because of the use of floor mattresses but also because of the impact of overcrowding on recreational and visitation opportunities.

The use of mattresses in the detention cells and in other areas of the UCJ was also considered to be unconstitutional by the Special Master. I shall first review his findings with respect to the use of mattresses. I agree with the Special Master that the use of floor mattresses constitutes punishment without due process of law in contravention of the rights of pretrial detainees. See Lareau v. Manson, supra ; Vazquez v. The practice is unsanitary, dehumanizing, and shocking.

In Lareau, F. I do not agree that the caselaw supports a finding of per se unconstitutionality. Under the test articulated in Wolfish, supra, U. The clearer the hardship, the shorter the period of time before it raises serious questions under the Due Process Clause. With respect to the use of floor mattresses in the general population cells, detention cells or other areas of the UCJ, I find that such means are permissible only during an emergency and only if no detainee is so confined for a period longer than 48 to 72 hours.

It would be preferable if collapsible cots were available at least for use in the library or laundry areas. If the defendants are confronted with an "emergency" of longer duration, they are instructed to comply with the other provisions of my order detailed below.

See Appendix B. In a footnote, the Special Master restricted his consideration of the constitutionality of confining two detainees to a cell to the condition of using mattresses to accomplish "double-celling" and declined to reach the issue of "double-bunking. I specially ordered the parties to address the feasibility and constitutionality of double-bunking at the hearing on March 25, The County complied with my request for supplemental briefing by stating that the bunks presently being used in the temporary dormitory cannot be utilized in the general population cells because of the height of the cells.

I concur with the third-party defendant that this information is an inadequate response to my directions. The feasibility of other and different forms of bunk beds has not been addressed by the party most familiar with the structural properties of the UCJ. However, for purposes of my analysis under the Fourteenth Amendment, I shall assume that some form of double-bunking is possible. There can be no doubt that using a double bunk bed is an obviously more sensible manner of providing a person with a place to sleep. However, the issue is still whether this solution passes muster constitutionally under all the conditions at the UCJ.

In this Court's judgment it does not. In a detention facility with larger cells, the arguments of the third-party defendant would be quite plausible. Here, the cell space is, at most, paltry. While the use of a frame bed does mean that an inmate is not required to sleep on the floor next to the urinal, subject to sewage back-up, etc.

Furthermore, this Court must maintain its focus on the issue of whether the UCJ meets minimum standards of decency. Such spatial starvation cannot pass muster constitutionally. Even the incarcerated are entitled to something more than a walk-in closet. Furthermore, there is no relief during the day from the adverse effects of overcrowding. As the Special Master found:. SMR, at If I assume that only half of the cells on any one tier are to be double-bunked under the Commissioner's proposed remedy, [17] the average corridor space per person for daytime use will be between 15 and 21 square feet.

Added to one person's share of the space of a double-bunked cell, a pretrial detainee at the UCJ is restricted nearly twenty-four hours a day to an area which the Court in Wolfish ruled was barely sufficient for sleeping purposes. It falls far short of the square feet governing new prison construction in this state. Other courts have found jails with similar or more generous spatial dimensions than those in the UCJ unconstitutional.

See Lareau, supra ; Campbell v. Cauthron, F. Thus based solely on considerations of space, I find that double-celling or double-bunking at the UCJ subjects pretrial detainees to genuine hardships amounting to punishment in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. My decision does not rest upon an incorporation into the Due Process Clause of the various correction associations' recommendations with respect to the number of square feet appropriate for daytime space in a jail such as that contained in N.

See Wolfish, supra. However, the 30 to 40 square feet allotted to a double-bunked detainee is grossly inadequate in comparison to any of these professional standards. Furthermore, overcrowded cells cannot be examined for constitutionality in isolation from the overall circumstances in the facility. In MCC, the hardships, if any, which are imposed upon pretrial detainees by double-bunking are mitigated by the unlimited daytime access to the large common areas. In UCJ, the more serious privations are aggravated by the overcrowded corridors, and the lack of meaningful recreation and other necessities.

For the female inmates, there is a lack of any recreation. As found by the Special Master, the County has been unable to provide the inmates with daily recreation off the tier. This is attributable to two factors. The recreation room has been reduced from 1, square feet to square feet in order to erect a temporary dormitory for the men during the overcrowding emergency. In addition, the sheer size of the population has overburdened the staff and necessitated a shortening of the recreation time available to each inmate.

Yet, recreation, as testified to by Gary Hilton, Assistant Commissioner of Corrections, before the Special Master, is one of the most important programs in a county jail setting for alleviating physical and mental stress. Hilton recommended that a commitment should be made by the County to improve the off-tier recreation facilities. The Commissioner proposes that elimination of the temporary dormitories for the men and women in conjunction with the establishment of a double-bunking practice would remedy any unconstitutional condition at the UCJ.

I find this proposal to be unsatisfactory. It is doubtful that recreation will improve so long as the population is as high as it has been for several months even if the size of the recreation room is returned to its normal dimensions. The third-party defendant, in effect, is proposing a trade-off of one "genuine privation" for another.

Either the pretrial detainees suffer increased crowding in the cells in order to enjoy slightly improved recreation opportunity or they suffer with the present recreation situation in order to enjoy slightly less crowded cells. Nor is access to a crowded corridor an adequate substitution for real exercise and recreation. The Special Master found the corridors sufficient only for passive activities, such as watching television. At the hearing, the Attorney General on behalf of the third-party defendant suggested, "The best recreation is walking.

You can read that in every newspaper article about health and fitness. Yet, the Eighth Circuit in Campbell v. While I appreciate the salutory effect of walking as an exercise, walking in the cramped corridors of the UCJ cannot satisfy the requirement of providing an inmate with a "healthy habilitative environment. Anderson, F. By any reasonable standard, the provision for recreation and exercise at the UCJ at the present population level is woefully inadequate. The overcrowded condition of the UCJ is the cause not only of inadequate recreation but also, as found by the Special Master, of reduced visitation privileges.


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This, too, aggravates the tensions already present because of double-bunking. I have determined that double-bunking at the UCJ violates the due process rights of pretrial detainees. It constitutes "confining a given number of people in a given amount of space in such a manner as to cause them to endure genuine privations and hardships over an extended period of time.

In addition to pretrial detainees, there are confined at the UCJ inmates already sentenced to county or state terms of imprisonment. Because these persons have been convicted, the Constitution does not protect them from all punishment but only from cruel and unusual punishment.

Rhodes v. He also found that sentenced inmates were deprived of adequate recreational opportunity to the same extent as pretrial detainees. See Miller v. Carson, F. In Rhodes, supra, the Court set forth the yardstick to be applied in measuring a prison condition under the Eighth Amendment:.

The Court reviewed the findings of the district court and concluded that they did not substantiate its ultimate finding of unconstitutionality. The cells at SOCF are 63 square feet and contain a bunk bed, night stand, sink with hot and cold running water, a sanitary toilet, and a wall-mounted shelf, cabinet and radio. They are heated and ventilated, and some even have a window that inmates can open and close. In sum, as the Court stated, "though small, the cells at SOCF are exceptionally modern and functional.

As a result of double-celling at SOCF, job and educational opportunities had diminished "marginally". Rhodes, supra, U. However, it "had not reduced significantly the availability of space in the day rooms or visitation facilities. In light of these findings, Justice Powell, writing for the Court concluded:. Wolfish, U. When such conditions "alone or in combination The conditions of overcrowding and double-celling are not to be viewed in isolation.

Rather, provision of space must be viewed against the totality of conditions. See also, Stewart v. Winter, F. Estelle, F. Thompson, F. I agree with the Special Master that requiring sentenced inmates to sleep for long periods of time on mattresses positioned on the floor constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. It is a "reprehensible and dehumanizing" practice.

The practice deprives these inmates of the essential requirement of habitable shelter. As stated by the Tenth Circuit, shelter is a core area of concern under the Eighth Amendment and it goes beyond having a solid roof over one's head:. Ramos v. Lamm, F. Even considering the incremental improvement in living conditions at the UCJ that would occur upon substituting bunk beds for mattresses, the stark reality is that 30 square feet of daytime space or See, e.

But the practice of housing three or four inmates on mattresses is deplorable and cannot be countenanced. Although the standard against which the court must judge conditions imposed upon sentenced offenders is more stringent than that which guides the analysis of conditions of confinement of pretrial detainees, I find that the conditions at the UCJ are too egregious to satisfy either standard. In sum, I will accept the proposed conclusions of law of the Special Master, as modified by my consideration of the constitutionality of a double-bunking practice at the UCJ.

I must now turn my attention to fashioning an appropriate remedy for these constitutional violations. I am very mindful of the delicate balance established by the Constitution between federal and state governments. See Rizzo v. Especially in the area of prison administration, judicial restraint is necessary in order to ensure that the business of operating a state corrections system stays in the hands of persons most able to accomplish this difficult task. These admonitions give a federal court pause to consider the implications of interfering in a local jail problem.

Nevertheless it is a solemn duty of a district court to "scrupulously" observe whether there has been a constitutional failing in a challenged jail facility. Wolfish, supra ; Procunier v. In Procunier, supra, U. As I have determined that the UCJ as it is presently operated offends the fundamental guarantees of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, I must complete the task required of me by the Constitution.

It has been noted previously that all the parties agree that the UCJ is seriously overcrowded and that the single most pervasive cause for this condition is the continued presence of state sentenced inmates. The confinement of state inmates in the UCJ is caused, in turn, by the valid and reasonable exercise of powers vested in the Commissioner under the Governor's Executive Orders.

Fauver, supra, 88 N. Consequently, the overburdened Union County facility, as detailed above, has succumbed to other egregious conditions, such as the lack of meaningful recreation and visitation, and the lack of adequate living space, which undermine its habitability. I have concluded on this basis that the environment at the UCJ is so degenerative and unhealthy as to be constitutionally impermissible.

As the Executive Orders have contributed substantially to this unconstitutional situation, under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution the Executive Orders as applied to the UCJ must yield. VI, cl. See also Jacobson v. The administrative action designating the UCJ as the place of confinement of state sentenced inmates is void and N.

This Court, however, is not unmindful of the good faith efforts of this administration and the previous administration to find a solution to the problem of overcrowding. Governor Kean has taken special note of this crisis. He indicated in his budget message, delivered on March 15, , the State's role and its responsibility in the matter of insufficient county jail bedspaces:. One of the measures which the Governor is taking in response to this emergency, in addition to seeking appropriations for new prison construction, is the execution of a lease with the United States Army for the use of the stockade at Fort Dix.

At my request, Commissioner Fauver submitted an affidavit outlining the timetable for the transfer of inmates to Fort Dix, to be designated as the Mid-State Correctional Facility:. Affidavit of William H. Hopefully this facility will go some of the distance toward rectifying the State's "neglect". I am persuaded by the good faith representations of the third-party defendant that at least a temporary solution to the UCJ situation can feasibly be arranged by approximately June 15, Insofar as the State is acting with reasonable alacrity in this matter, I will stay the operation of N.