Farrell v. AllenThe California Youth Authority Agrees to End Inhumane and Illegal Conditions for Incarcerated Youth with Disabilities
In 2004, the California Youth Authority (CYA), the state’s juvenile prison system, agreed to a major overhaul of the entire CYA system to address the inhumane and illegal conditions of confinement which affect young inmates in the CYA system. The case was brought under state law to stop the CYA from perpetuating illegal conditions within the CYA.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of a tax payer, Plaintiff Margaret Farrell, who was represented by DRA, Latham & Watkins, Prison Law Office, and Jones Day, LLP.
In seeking to reform the CYA system, the lawsuit challenged the CYA’s failure to ensure the wards’ safety from violence and abuse by staff and other wards, due process violations in segregation determinations, illegal conditions of confinement in segregation, and disability discrimination.
The case also addressed inadequate medical and mental health care, inadequate access to education and to substance abuse and sex offender treatment programs and illegal denial of training, treatment, and rehabilitation. In addition, the case addressed denial of religious rights, improper and illegal conditions of confinement with regard to exercise opportunities, physical facilities, visiting, telephone calls and access to courts.