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The plaintiffs are named TDC inmates, who represent a class of all past, present, and future inmates. Jurisdiction is appropriate under 28 U. Before embarking upon a discussion of the numerous specific factual and legal issues posed by the evidence in this civil action, a general overview of the TDC system, a description of the inmate population, the history of the litigation, and a general outline of this opinion will be set out.
Description of the TDC System The Texas Department of Corrections currently operates eighteen prison unites in the state of Texas, sixteen for male prisoners and two for female prisoners.
Most of the units are large; the smallest incarcerates eight hundred inmates, and the largest house some four thousand. On most of the prison units, extensive farming and industrial operations are carried on, with the use of inmate labor.
Responsibility for the management of the prison system, subject to the control and supervision of the Texas Board of Corrections, is vested in the TDC Director. Each unit has its own warden, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the unit.
The names of the TDC units, and their reported population levels on June 1,were as follows: An eighteenth unit, the Beto Unit, is partially completed at present and houses a small contingent of construction worker inmates working toward its completion.
It is designed to hold 4, double-celled inmates.
The inmate population includes persons of a variety of backgrounds and widely differing abilities, as well as many with acute physical and mental problems. A statistical profile of the TDC inmate population reveals pertinent information concerning persons immured in Texas prisons.
An ethnic breakdown showed that approximately forty-three percent of n133 nightly business report were black, thirty-nine percent were white, and nineteen percent were of Mexican ancestry.
Prior to the incarceration, almost twenty-seven percent resided in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, twenty-five percent in the Houston area, and seven percent in the San Antonio area.
In general, a large majority of TDC's inmates were convicted in urban areas.
The mean age of TDC inmates in was Inmore than sixty-one percent of the new admissions to the TDC system were first offenders. The average maximum sentence of all inmates was According to TDC's classification of the offenses for which inmates have been sentenced, approximately twenty percent were incarcerated for "violent" crimes, sixty-five percent for "property" crimes, and fifteen percent for "other" offenses.
Scores of seventy or below were exhibited by 1, inmates, or 7. Another 2, inmates, or 9. Expert witnesses agreed that approximately ten to fifteen percent of the inmates were mentally retarded.
It was further estimated that five percent of the inmates were acutely mentally ill, and that as many as sixty-eight percent were mentally or emotionally disturbed. Thirty percent had histories of serious alcohol abuse, and records of drug abuse and dependency were shown for thirty percent.
Fifteen percent of the inmate population were found to be illiterate. Average reading ability for TDC inmates was at approximately a sixth grade level.
In the spring ofthe civil action instituted by Ruiz was consolidated with the suits of seven other TDC inmates n2 into a single civil action, styled Ruiz v.
Counsel was appointed to represent the indigent plaintiffs in the litigation, and the United States was ordered to appear in the case as amicus curiae. In December ofthe motion of the United States to intervene as a plaintiff was granted, n3 and the addition of members of the Texas Board of Corrections, as defendants, was also allowed.
Beto, Civil Action No.
Estelle, Civil Action No. Subsequently, by order of March 3,the motion of plaintiffs Montano, Soto, Winchester, Pardo and Randall for voluntary dismissal of their complaints was granted. Defendants' motions to dismiss the United States as amicus curiae and as plaintiff-intervenor, and to stay participation by the United States pending determination of its status were denied on February 10, Also denied was a request to certify an interlocutory appeal of the ruling made pursuant to 28 U.
Pending disposition of the petition, the Fifth Circuit stayed all proceedings involving the United States. On July 24,the Fifth Circuit denied defendant Estelle's petition and vacated the stay of participation by the United States.
In Re Estelle, F. Certiorari was later denied. During this period, several hearings were conducted to consider a variety of outstanding matters, including disputed discovery issues and requests by the named inmate plaintiffs for protection from retaliation by the defendants.
On December 30,an order was issued which enjoined TDC officials from interfering with plaintiffs' access to counsel and the courts, and from engaging in various other forms of harassment, retaliation and discrimination against the plaintiffs. This order supplemented previous protective orders which had been issued.
By consent order of June 20,defendant Estelle and TDC officials were enjoined from interfering with plaintiffs' rights to consult privately or communicate by mail with their attorneys; and from threatening, harassing, or disciplining the plaintiffs for participating in the case.
A second protective order, entered on January 20,supplemented the first order by insuring plaintiffs access to the prison law libraries, setting forth procedures for the handling of incoming and outgoing legal mail, and for the provision of legal materials.May 19, · The one we've been waiting for for a while.
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May 19, · Night Bus Consultation Not read the detail yet. Comments later. Croydon and Sutton being relinked with the , the N finally extended to Morden, The 47/N business is also some smart thinking.
The may be even more useful if it were extended to Becontree Heath, night and day, IMO.