Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 130100
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File Number: 130100 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-291-13 Control: County Commission
File Name: SETTLEMENT RE: DOJ FINDINGS FOR JAIL CONDITIONS Introduced: 1/18/2013
Requester: Corrections & Rehabilitation Department Cost: Final Action: 4/16/2013
Agenda Date: 4/16/2013 Agenda Item Number: 8B1
Notes: TLL- 1/18/13 Title: RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF CONSENT AGREEMENT AND SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (''DOJ'') REGARDING ALLEGED VIOLATIONS IN DOJ FINDINGS LETTER DATED AUGUST 24, 2011
Indexes: NONE
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 4/16/2013 8B1 Adopted P

Board of County Commissioners 1/23/2013 14A1 Deferred P
REPORT: Commissioner Diaz requested this resolution be deferred. Chairwoman Sosa asked if the Administration objected to the request for a deferral. Deputy Mayor Edward Marquez noted it was important for this agreement to be finalized; however, it was the Commissioner’s prerogative to request a deferral if he needed more time to work out any issues, and noted the matter had been ongoing for some time. Chairwoman Sosa, on behalf of the Board, expressed appreciation to staff for being flexible in this matter. She noted it was important to establish a clear line of communication between the parties, and that Judge Steven Leifman needed to be at the table when this matter was discussed by the committee of jurisdiction. Commissioner Diaz expressed appreciation to Board members and staff for considering his request. He noted that several issues had arisen that needed to be clarified and he had several questions that needed to be answered. Hearing no further comments or questions, Board members proceeded to vote on this resolution as presented.

Office of the Chairperson 1/18/2013 Additions

County Attorney 1/18/2013 Assigned Robert A. Duvall

County Mayor 1/18/2013 Assigned County Attorney 1/23/2013
REPORT: CORRECTIONS (ASST. COUNTY ATTY: BERNIE PASTOR/RANDY DUVALL) (NO CMTE ASSIGNMENT/BCC SPONSOR: CMSR DIAZ)

County Mayor 1/18/2013 Assigned Chip Iglesias 1/18/2013 1/18/2013

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF CONSENT AGREEMENT AND SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (''DOJ'') REGARDING ALLEGED VIOLATIONS IN DOJ FINDINGS LETTER DATED AUGUST 24, 2011

BODY
WHEREAS, on April 2, 2008, the Department Of Justice (DOJ) initiated an investigation of conditions at the Miami-Dade County’s jail facilities, pursuant to the Constitutional Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (“CRIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997; and

WHEREAS, on August 24, 2011, DOJ issued a Findings Letter, in which it alleged various violations regarding medical care, mental health care, suicide prevention, use of force, fire safety and environmental health, as well as recommending remedial measures; and

WHEREAS, inmate medical and mental health care are provided by Corrections Health Services (CHS), a division of the Public Health Trust, and jail operations are the responsibility of the Miami-Dade County Department of the Corrections and Rehabilitation (MDCR); and

WHEREAS, both before and after the commencement of DOJ’s CRIPA investigation CHS and MDCR implemented a variety of measures and improvements as part of an ongoing effort to achieve accreditation by professional correctional organizations, including the American Correctional Association (“ACA”) and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (“NCCHC”); and

WHEREAS, DOJ expressly acknowledged the Miami-Dade County’s full cooperation throughout the CRIPA investigation and significant improvements made since the commencement of the investigation; and

WHEREAS, in further acknowledgment of improvements made by the County in many areas of jail operations, DOJ has agreed to address these matters in the form of a “private party settlement agreement”, 18 U.S.C. §3626(c)(2), which does not require direct court oversight; and

WHEREAS, while acknowledging that improvements in medical and mental healthcare have also occurred, DOJ requires a judicially enforceable consent agreement to address those areas because these improvements are more recent and have not been as fully implemented; and

WHEREAS, the proposed settlement agreements are consistent with MDCR’s and CHS’s ongoing efforts to achieve professional accreditation of their facilities and programs; and

WHEREAS, County representatives from MDCR, CHS and the County Attorney’s Office have engaged in extensive, good faith negotiations with DOJ to reach a full and fair settlement of the violations alleged in DOJ’s Findings Letter dated August 24, 2011,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that the Board hereby authorizes the County Mayor and County Attorney to execute the consent agreement and settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in substantially the form attached hereto and made part hereof for and on behalf of Miami-Dade County.

HEADER
Date:

To: Honorable Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa
and Members, Board of County Commissioners

From: Carlos A. Gimenez
Mayor

Subject: RESOLUTION REGARDING PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF FINDINGS BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) REGARDING JAIL CONDITIONS, PURSUANT TO INVESTIGATION UNDER AUTHORITY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF INSTITUTIONALIZED PERSONS ACT (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. §1997

STAFF RECOMMENDATION
RECOMMENDATION:
It is recommended that the Board of County Commissioners approve the proposed consent agreement between Miami-Dade County and the Public Health Trust and the U.S. Department of Justice, and the settlement agreement between Miami-Dade County, which operates the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

SCOPE
The impact of these agreements is countywide.

FISCAL IMPACT/FUNDING SOURCE
There is fiscal impact to Miami-Dade County and the Public Health Trust regarding the implementation of provisions required from these agreements. Significant cost implications are summarized in the Background Section of this memorandum. Operating costs borne by Miami-Dade County will be supported by the Countywide General Fund. Capital costs are supported either through the bond proceeds or the Capital Outlay Reserve, depending upon the project. Operating costs borne by the Public Health Trust will be supported by operating revenues, including the maintenance of effort paid by the County.

TRACK RECORD/MONITOR
Mr. John Johnson, Captain, will serve as the monitor and be responsible to comply with the provisions of the settlement agreement for Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department. Mr. Patrick Morse, Director, will serve as the monitor and be responsible to comply with the provisions of the consent agreement for the Public Health Trust’s Corrections Health Services.

MANAGER'S BACKGROUND
BACKGROUND
On April 2, 2008, the Department of Justice initiated an investigation of conditions at the County’s Jail facilities (Jail), pursuant to Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997. The Department of Justice toured the Jail with its team of consultants on June 9 – 13 and June 16 – 20, 2008, and on April 7 – 8, 2009. On August 24, 2011, the Department of Justice issued a Findings Letter, alleging various violations regarding medical care, mental health care and suicide prevention, use of force, fire safety and environmental health, as well as recommending remedial measures. The medical and mental health issues are primarily the responsibility of Corrections Health Services, a division of the Public Health Trust, while the issues concerning jail operations are under the purview of the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Both agencies have collaborated closely in responding to the Department of Justice.

In response to the Findings Letter, the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department and Corrections Health Services (“the County”) provided the Department of Justice a comprehensive matrix which correlates numerous measures already undertaken by the County with the corresponding remedial responses identified in the Findings Letter, as well as substantial documentation of the numerous measures implemented since the time of the inspections. On October 4, 2011, County representatives met with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., to discuss these documented changes. As a result, the Department of Justice agreed to re-inspect the Jail facilities on November 30 – December 2, 2011. After the re-inspection, the Department of Justice concluded that significant improvements had been made in many areas, while other conditions still warranted remedial efforts.

On July 9, 2012, the Department of Justice presented the County with a proposed draft of a consent agreement. Extensive negotiations, including three days of direct discussions with Department of Justice attorneys in Miami on September 17 - 19, 2012, resulted in the two accompanying proposed agreements. Issues related to medical and mental healthcare, including suicide prevention, are addressed by the consent agreement. Issues related to jail operations are addressed by the settlement agreement. These agreements are consistent with, and in furtherance of, the accreditation efforts to which the County is already committed.

The statute (18 U.S.C. §3626(c) authorizes two different forms of settlement agreements. The first, and by far the most common, is a consent agreement that is filed with and enforced by a federal district court. The second is referred to as a “private party settlement agreement,” and while not under direct oversight by a court, the Department of Justice retains the ability to initiate an action in the event of noncompliance by the County. The Department of Justice agreed to utilize a settlement agreement for issues relating to jail operations because related improvements had been in place and sustained for a substantial period of time. The settlement agreement is expected to remain in effect between five to seven years as individual provisions shall terminate after the Department of Justice confirms the maintenance of substantial compliance for a period of 18 months. While improvements in medical and mental healthcare also were acknowledged by the Department of Justice, it required a consent agreement to address these issues as these improvements were more recent and not as fully implemented.

There is fiscal impact for both the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department and the Public Health Trust/Corrections Health Services. The consent agreement requires the construction of the Mental Health Treatment Facility at an estimated cost of $12,000,000 - $16,000,000, which is currently funded in the Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program. Operations of the Mental Health Treatment Facility will be phased in commencing by the end of 2014 with an estimated annual cost of $22,000,000 for custodial staff, once fully operational. The consent agreement also requires the implementation of an electronic medical records system estimated at $230,000; additional mental health staffing with an estimated cost of $7,317,000, once fully operational; additional medication and supplies estimated at $293,000; and the annual cost of $125,000 for an outside Monitor for medical-related provisions.

Significant cost implications associated with the settlement agreement include an automated jail management system with an installation cost of $6,000,000 and annual maintenance cost of $500,000; additional video monitoring equipment estimated at $1,200,000; and increased staff training with an
estimated annual cost of $1,300,000 annually. Additional costs include $300,000 for a comprehensive staffing analysis and plan, as well as any required additional security staffing identified by the staffing analysis; and the cost of an outside Monitor for jail operation-related provisions estimated at $250,000 annually until the completion of the settlement agreement.

Miami-Dade County will work diligently to meet the provisions indentified in these agreements. Both Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department and the Public Health Trust’s Corrections Health Services will continue to collaborate to ensure the mandates in these agreements are met as well as continue professional accreditation efforts of their facilities and programs.



_________________________
Genaro “Chip” Iglesias
Deputy Mayor



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