Improving Conditions of Confinement
CCLP attorneys have extensive experience in assessing and working to improve conditions of confinement in jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities and training schools. Staff currently work throughout the country helping jurisdictions assess conditions in their own facilities and address deficiencies. Staff also are prepared to advocate and litigate, if necessary, to improve egregious conditions elsewhere.
For example, helped create the first set of licensing standards for juvenile detention facilities in the State of Louisiana, published in August 2012. They were created with the support of the MacArthur Foundation through the work of the Louisiana Juvenile Detention Association, the Center for Children's Law and Policy, and other Louisiana officials and stakeholders. The standards end the use of restraint chairs and chemical restraints such as pepper spray in facilities; mandate that staff receive increased training, including on best practices for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth; address access to required educational and other services; and create procedures for reporting complaints.
CCLP provides training and technical assistance to Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) sites around the country as they work to address one of the core components of JDAI: ensuring safe and humane conditions of confinement in detention facilities. CCLP, along with the Youth Law Center, has developed a detailed set of standards and guidance materials to help jurisdictions assess their detention centers. CCLP staff are available to provide training to sites engaged in self-assessment and support during the assessment and remediation process, and are also featured on a 2-hour DVD overview of the site assessment process, standards and tools.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that more than 1 in 10 youth in state juvenile facilities and large local facilities were sexually victimized by staff or youth in a 12-month period.