96th Congress > House > Vote 151

Date: 1979-05-23

Result: 344-62

Vote Subject Matter: Civil Liberties / Domestic Social Policy

Bill number: HR10


Bill summary: (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 96-897) Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act - Authorizes the Attorney General to initiate a civil action in an appropriate district court against a State or local government or its employees or agents, and to intervene in an existing Federal action, with respect to institutionalized persons whose rights are being denied. Makes this Act applicable with respect to any institution which is: (1) owned, operated, or managed by, or provides (...show more) services for, a State or local government; and (2) (A) for the mentally impaired, chronically ill, or handicapped, (B) a correctional facility, (C) a pretrial detention facility, (D) for juveniles awaiting trial or residing for any State purpose (except elementary and secondary education), or (E) providing skilled nursing, intermediate or long-term care, or custodial or residential care. Excludes privately owned facilities if the sole nexus between such facility and the State consists of: (1) State licensing; and/or (2) the receipt of Medicare, Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income payments. Requires for the initiation of an action that the Attorney General have reasonable cause to believe that: (1) an institutionalized person is being subjected to egregious or flagrant conditions which deprive him or her of Federal constitutional or statutory rights causing such person grievous harm; and (2) such deprivation is pursuant to a pattern or practice of resistance to such rights. Permits in any such action an award of appropriate equitable action to insure the minimum corrective measures necessary to insure the full enjoyment of constitutional and statutory rights, but limits relief, with respect to persons institutionalized in correctional facilities, to constitutional deprivations. Requires the Attorney General to personally sign a complaint initiating an action. Requires the Attorney General to certify to the court when such an action is commenced that: (1) the Governor, State attorney general, and director of the institution were notified at least 49 days in advance of the alleged conditions, supporting facts, and minimum corrective measure; (2) such persons were notified at least seven days before the investigation was commenced and that certain informal methods of persuasion have not succeeded; and (3) such an action is of general public importance and will materially further the vindication of constitutional or statutory rights. Directs the Attorney General to personally sign any such certification. Requires for intervention in a Federal action alleging deprivation of constitutional or statutory rights due to egregious or flagrant conditions causing grievous harm, that the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe such deprivation is pursuant to a pattern or practice of resistance to such rights. Imposes certification requirements for intervention which are similar to those required for initiation of an action. Prohibits retaliation against any person reporting conditions which may constitute a violation of this Act. Authorizes a court when appropriate and in the interest of justice to continue an action brought by an adult confined in a correctional facility in order to require exhaustion of administrative remedies. Directs the Attorney General to promulgate within 180 days of enactment minimum standards for the development of a grievance resolution system for such adults, such standards to become effective 30 legislative days after publication subject to congressional disapproval. Specifies requirements for such standards. Provides for the certification of such systems. to become effective 30 legislative days after publication subject to congressional disapproval. Specifies requirements for such standards. Provides for the certification of such systems. Requires the Attorney General to include in the Department of Justice report information on actions filed under this Act and their impact, assistance to institutions, and progress made in Federal institutions toward meeting promulgated standards. Expresses the intent of Congress that: (1) deplorable conditions in institutions be corrected by good faith efforts of Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as by litigation; and (2) priority in Federal funding be given to the correction of unconstitutional or illegal conditions which may exist. Directs the Attorney General to notify the Secretary of Health and Human Services or the Secretary of Education of an investigation or motion to intervene and to consult with such officials, if the institution receives funds from such departments. States that this Act does not authorize the promulgation of regulations defining standards of care. Provides that this Act does not expand or restrict the authority of other parties to enforce their legal rights with regard to institutionalized persons.

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Bill titles: A bill to authorize actions for redress in cases involving deprivations of rights of institutionalized persons secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 66, p. 3653;

Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov

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