New Jail Ends Old Lawsuit

Elkhart, IN: (Apr-17-08) A class action lawsuit was brought against Elkhart County by inmates who claimed that the county needs to make improvements to the jail conditions. Court papers reveal that the suit, filed in May 2002, was filed by inmate Jay Dean, who served as the lead plaintiff, and was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU alleged that the inmates' civil rights were being violated by overcrowding and lack of medical care, food and recreation.

In a recent development in the case, federal judge Robert L. Miller Jr. ordered the suit dismissed April 4, 2008, stating that the case stands resolved as the county opened a new, larger $97.3 million facility in November 2007. Records show that the parties reached a settlement under which the suit would be dismissed once a new jail was built in April 2003. Judge Miller inherited the lawsuit and stated that together with other elected officials and with input from the community, the county designed and built a facility, which will meet the housing needs and allow the county to offer education and rehabilitation to people who need it most. [SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE: NEW ELKHART JAIL ENDS LAWSUIT]

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