722 F.2d 1490 (9th Cir. 1984), 83-1678, Toussaint v. Yockey

Docket Nº:83-1678, 83-1775.
Citation:722 F.2d 1490
Party Name:Joseph TOUSSAINT, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Samuel YOCKEY, Acting Director of Corrections, Reginald Pulley, Warden, San Quentin Prison; Robert Rees, Superintendent, Deuel Vocational Institution, Alan Stagner, Superintendent, Correctional Training Facility (Soledad), Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:January 05, 1984
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Page 1490

722 F.2d 1490 (9th Cir. 1984)

Joseph TOUSSAINT, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees,


Samuel YOCKEY, Acting Director of Corrections, Reginald

Pulley, Warden, San Quentin Prison; Robert Rees,

Superintendent, Deuel Vocational Institution, Alan Stagner,

Superintendent, Correctional Training Facility (Soledad),


Nos. 83-1678, 83-1775.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 5, 1984

Argued and Submitted July 14, 1983.

Page 1491

Sanford Jay Rosen, Rosen & Remcho, San Francisco, Cal., James Smith, Smith, Snedeker & Comiskey, Sacramento, Cal., Bernard Zimmerman, Sarah Flanagan, Mark Chavez, Andrea Resnick, Sidney M. Wolinsky, Morris J. Baller, David Lew, San Francisco, Cal., Michael Satris, San Quentin, Cal., for plaintiffs-appellees.

William D. Stein, Karl Mayer, John Van de Kamp, San Francisco, Cal., for defendants-appellants.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Before TRASK, and CANBY, Circuit Judges, and SOLOMON [*], District Judge.

CANBY, Circuit Judge:

Plaintiffs are a class of approximately 2,000 prisoners confined in administrative segregation in four California State Prisons: Deuel Vocational Institution, Folsom Prison, San Quentin Prison, and Soledad Correctional Training Facility. Defendants are the wardens of the four prisons and the California Director of Corrections. Plaintiffs sought relief on two claims. In Wright v. Enomoto, 462 F.Supp. 397 (N.D.Cal.1976), aff'd, 434 U.S. 1052, 98 S.Ct. 1223, 55 L.Ed.2d 756 (1978) ("Wright I"), a three-judge panel convened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2281, now repealed, granted relief on the first claim. The court concluded that the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment required certain procedures before a prisoner could be placed in administrative segregation.

This appeal involves the second claim for relief, based on the eighth amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. A prior preliminary injunction, issued on November 3, 1980, was vacated by this court in Wright v. Rushen, 642 F.2d 1129 (9th Cir.1981) ("Wright II"). In Wright II we held that the district court erred in relying on a "totality of conditions" approach in analyzing the constitutionality of prison conditions.

On remand the district court entered detailed findings of fact and concluded that even when analyzed individually, many of the current conditions in administrative segregation at three of the institutions 1 are probably unconstitutional. Determining that plaintiffs had demonstrated a probability of success on the merits and that the balance of hardships tipped sharply in their favor, the court entered a new preliminary injunction. Defendants challenge the district court's conclusions on several grounds, each of which will be discussed in turn. We affirm all of the preliminary injunction except the provision relating to food services.

Page 1492

I. Double Celling

The district court found that prisoners who are confined in administrative segregation live in cells which in general are approximately six feet wide and eight to nine feet long. Each cell is furnished with a bed of some sort, a thin mattress, a pillow, a blanket, a coverless toilet and a sink. Each inmate is supplied a cardboard box in which to keep his personal belongings. Shelf space is minimal or in some cases non-existent. Many of the cells have no windows. 2 The district court found that double celling exacerbated the already bad conditions existing in these cells and engendered violence, tension and psychiatric problems. It therefore concluded that the practice of double-celling inmates in the housing units challenged in this action could not withstand constitutional scrutiny. In its preliminary injunction the court prohibited involuntary double celling for more than thirty days in any twelve-month period. It also limited double celling to cells larger than fifty square feet, in which a second bed, cot or bunk is provided.

In Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 101 S.Ct. 2392, 69 L.Ed.2d 59 (1981), the Supreme Court held that in and of itself double-celling is not unconstitutional. The institution involved in Rhodes was described as "a top-flight, first-class facility." The cells averaged 63 square feet and contained a cabinet-type night stand, a cabinet, shelf and radio built into one of the walls, a wall-mounted sink with hot and cold running water and a toilet that the inmate could flush from inside the cell. All of the cells had a heating and air circulation vent near the ceiling and more than half of them had a window that the inmates could open and close. All cells used to house two inmates were supplied with two-tiered bunk beds.

As found by the district court, conditions in the units at issue in this case are very different. The facts already set forth make clear that the differences are substantial. One is particularly crucial. In Rhodes the district court found that there was no evidence that double celling caused greater violence. 452 U.S. at 343, 101 S.Ct. at 2397. In contrast, the district court in this case found that double-celling engenders violence, tension and psychiatric problems. That finding, along with others regarding cell conditions, clearly supports the double celling portion of the preliminary injunction. See id. at 349 n. 14, 101 S.Ct. at 2400 n. 14. 3

II. Exercise

The district court found that many of the inmates were confined to their cells for as much as 23 1/2 hours a day. It concluded that the state's failure to provide sufficient exercise raised serious constitutional issues. In its preliminary injunction the court required the state to provide each prisoner with outdoor exercise...

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