New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

What is the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act?

On Behalf of | Monday Nov 23, 2020 | Civil Rights

In New York, people like you who end up incarcerated within the system are not fully stripped of all rights. While it is true that incarcerated individuals suffer from a loss of many rights, you still have certain protections. 

Acts and laws like the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act work toward ensuring that goal. But what do acts like this accomplish? What do they protect? 

What does CRIPA protect?

The United States Department of Justice lays out the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, or CRIPA. First and foremost, note that private facilities do not fall under the protections of this act. It does, however, include state or locally operated institutions. 

CRIPA protects civil rights of people incarcerated in the aforementioned facilities. It does not create any new rights for inmates. But it allows the Department of Justice to protect rights you already have. 

This act typically applies to five types of institutions. This includes prisons and jails and juvenile correction facilities. It also includes any locally owned or state operated mental facilities and nursing homes. Facilities for the developmentally disabled also fall under this category. 

What problems does CRIPA address?

CRIPA covers many large problems in these institutions. They include: 

  • Sexual victimization especially of female prisoners 
  • Abuse and neglect in juvenile detention centers or nursing homes 
  • Unmet mental health needs for inmates and people awaiting trial 
  • Inadequate education in facilities that host children 
  • Active treatment and rehabilitative care for disabilities 

After someone reports a violation of CRIPA to the Department of Justice, a DOJ investigator can work on the case. The DOJ often works with the institution to correct errors, but in some cases may file a lawsuit against the institution.