740 F.2d 432 (6th Cir. 1984), 82-5499, Kendrick v. Bland

Docket Nº:82-5499, 82-5604.
Citation:740 F.2d 432
Party Name:Jerald KENDRICK, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, Cross-Appellants, v. David BLAND, et al., Defendants-Appellants, Cross-Appellees, United States of America, Amicus Curiae.
Case Date:July 27, 1984
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 432

740 F.2d 432 (6th Cir. 1984)

Jerald KENDRICK, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, Cross-Appellants,

v.

David BLAND, et al., Defendants-Appellants, Cross-Appellees,

United States of America, Amicus Curiae.

Nos. 82-5499, 82-5604.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

July 27, 1984

Argued Nov. 29, 1983.

Page 433

Barbara W. Jones (argued), Linda G. Cooper, Frankfort, Ky., Shawn Moore U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Washington, D.C., for defendants-appellants, cross-appellees.

Patricia G. Walker [LEAD] (argued), Gittleman & Barber, Oliver H. Barber, Jr., Thomas J. Banaaszynski, Louisville, Ky., Christine A. Freeman, Southern Prisoner's Defense Committee, Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiffs-appellees, cross-appellants.

Before EDWARDS and KRUPANSKY, Circuit Judges, and FAIRCHILD [*], Senior Circuit Judge.

KRUPANSKY, Circuit Judge.

Jerald Kendrick and other incarcerates of the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP) at Eddyville, Kentucky, initiated this class action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 on September 8, 1976 against various administrators, correctional officers and employees of KSP seeking, inter alia, injunctive and declaratory relief from conditions allegedly in violation of the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel and unusual punishment, as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. 1 Rhodes v. Chapman,

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52 U.S. 337, 344-45, 101 S.Ct. 2392, 2398, 69 L.Ed.2d 59 (1981); Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660, 666, 82 S.Ct. 1417, 1420, 8 L.Ed.2d 758 (1962). The class was certified under Rule 23(b)(2), Fed.R.Civ.Pro., as those "persons presently confined in the Kentucky State Penitentiary, and those who may be so confined in the future". The United States of America intervened on behalf of the plaintiff class.

During several years following initiation of this action, the parties, under the astute guidance of the district court, exhibited a commendable spirit of cooperation designed to rectify the practices, policies and conditions joined in the complaint as constitutionally infirm. Innumerable hearings, conferences and visitations to KSP were conducted by the district court during this period. The district court's extended involvement and intimate understanding of the facts and issues joined in this action demand that its factual findings are to be afforded extreme deference. Hutto v. Finney, 437 U.S. 678, 688, 98 S.Ct. 2565, 2572, 57 L.Ed.2d 522 (1978); Rule 52, Fed.R.Civ.Pro.

Following hearings on September 23 and November 30, 1979, at which inmates and corrections personnel testified, the district court by order dated March 20, 1980, preliminarily enjoined defendants from exercising the use of unnecessary physical force, mace and/or restraints on the inmates, as violative of the Eighth Amendment. On May 28, 1980, approximately two months subsequent to the issuance of this preliminary injunction, a detailed Consent Decree negotiated by the parties was approved by the court. This Decree resolved the vast majority of controverted issues except issues of brutality and harassment which were expressly excluded.

On July 22, 1980, the parties filed a Supplemental Partial Consent Decree. Therein defendants agreed that the preliminary injunction of March 20, 1980 be made permanent. The Supplemental Decree detailed the procedure by which the parties sought to eliminate alleged exercises of guard brutality. It contemplated development of a selection and monitoring process to be implemented for the hiring of non-clerical correctional personnel which was to include the following: psychological testing; general guidelines for interviewing of applicants; a formal evaluation of the personnel within 90 days of employment; termination of those individuals determined to be unfit after completing the selection process. It further contemplated extensive training of existing personnel. The Supplemental Decree also proscribed against harassment and arbitrary action by the defendants:

The defendants agree that there shall be no use of physical force, chemical or mechanical restraints, except when the inmate poses a danger to self or others. Further, there shall be no arbitrary, unnecessary, or excessive physical intrusions of an inmate or his property, or removal of property without a receipt; nor any verbal abuse, harassment (including threats of discipline or writeups), or arbitrariness in dealing with inmates or their property, on the part of correctional personnel. The defendants agree to comply with the applicable ACA standards regarding the use of mace including Sections 4165-4171. In addition, the defendants agree to utilize the following guidelines and procedures for the use of mace, restraints, use of force, and shakedowns of inmates and inmate cells, effective upon the entry of the Consent Decree...[thereafter follow detailed guidelines].

Although the Supplemental Decree fully resolved issues of brutality and parenthetically proscribed against harassment of inmates by the defendants, the plaintiff class moved for (1) a declaration that the Constitutional rights of the KSP class had been violated by a pattern of guard harassment of inmates and (2) an injunction ordering the discharge of Senior Captain (now Major) Robert Hendricks (Hendricks), Captain William Henderson (Henderson) and Captain

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William Ashley (Ashley). During the week of July 21-25, 1980 the district court conducted hearings at which numerous inmates and correctional personnel testified. The court was precluded from issuing a prompt decision because of delays experienced in preparation of the transcript. However, several months later, on October 24, 1980, the court adjudged from the bench that "a preliminary finding of an unacceptable pattern of harassment has been made". Post-trial briefs were requested from the parties "with an emphasis on the problem of remedies."

On November 11, 1981, approximately a year later, the district court in a memorandum opinion concluded that a pattern and practice of harassment existed at KSP. The opinion noted an abusive and coercive informant system whereby inmates were required upon demand to provide information concerning potential institutional infractions by either inmates or guards at the risk of suffering retaliation for failure to cooperate. The court's memorandum opinion also generalized the operation of the Special Needs Unit wherein untrained guards unnecessarily and wantonly inflicted pain upon mentally ill inmates through the use of excessive force. Defendant's implementation of an informant system and operation of the Special Needs Unit were both adjudged to infringe the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The court, however, refused to grant plaintiff's motion for an injunction discharging Hendricks, Ashley and Henderson and addressed the request for relief in the following language:

The Court is not persuaded that the relief requested by plaintiffs--an order requiring the dismissal of Major Hendricks, and Captains Henderson and Ashley--would remedy the conditions which gave rise to the problems discerned by the Court. * * * [P]ursuant to the Supplemental Partial Consent Decree Sec. 3(c), defendants agreed to implement, a "formal evaluation process of non-clerical correctional personnel job performance [to determine continued] fitness to work with a correctional institution." The information gathered from this process must be submitted to the Court before any further action regarding the three guards in question.

The district court envisioned the discharge of Hendricks, Henderson and Ashley as a constitutionally permissible remedy upon a finding of fact that...

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