Consent Decree Project

Based on the situation, the policy and procedure directive, the appellate court decision, and the Proposed Consent Decree, the student will write a report that addresses the following:
(a) whether and to what extent the Proposed Consent Decree squarely addresses the situation, the policy and procedure, directive, and the appellate court decision;
(b) (b) whether and to what extent the Proposed Consent Decree is under-inclusive; and
(c) (c) whether and to what extent the Proposed Consent Decree is over-inclusive.

Description of Situation

This situation takes place at the fictional Adelphi County Jail in Maryland, where Jack Jones is being confined while awaiting trial on charges that he murdered Bob and Mary Smith, the elderly couple living next door, and buried their bodies in a deserted industrial park nearby. The criminal case has enjoyed a lot of local publicity because inmate Jones was the County?s youngest Eagle Scout, Mr. Smith was his Scout Leader, and the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Smith have not yet been found.

Inmate Jones shares a cell at the Adelphi County Jail with inmate Joe Johnson, who has been suspected by Officer Anderson of selling contraband cigarettes to other inmates. Officer Anderson shares his suspicions with Sgt. Belker, and the two of them approach the Shift Commander about arranging for a random search of inmate Jones? cell. The Shift Commander approves the random cell search.

Sgt. Belker and Officer Anderson proceed to the cell shared by inmates Johnson and Jones. Inmate Johnson is present in the cell; inmate Jones is in the gymnasium playing basketball with other inmates. Officer Anderson removes inmate Johnson from the cell and begins to search the cell with Sgt. Belker. When inmate Johnson asks twice what?s going on, Sgt. Belker calls the housing unit supervisor on his radio and asks that inmate Johnson be taken to the dayroom. Officer Casey arrives and escorts inmate Johnson to the dayroom.

Sgt. Belker and Officer Anderson inspect inmate Johnson?s television and inmate Jones? CD player and typewriter and find nothing unusual, but the antenna snaps off the television as Sgt. Belker replaces it on the shelf. They inspect the inmates? clothing and footwear and find nothing unusual, although a sneaker falls into the cell toilet. They inspect a drawer full of commissary snacks, opening five apparently unopened bags of potato chips in the process, and they discover contraband cigarette papers inside one of the potato chip bags. Officer Anderson continues the search by looking through a box of books and papers. Included in the hundreds of pages of papers in the box is a sheet of paper with a crude drawing of what appears to be a local industrial park and a prominent ?X? drawn alongside one of the industrial buildings. Officer Anderson asks Sgt. Belker if inmate Jones isn?t the inmate charged with murdering the elderly couple and burying their bodies in an industrial park. Sgt. Belker replies that he thinks he is. Officer Anderson removes the sheet of paper from the box, folds it, and puts it in his pocket.

On his way home after the conclusion of his shift, Officer Anderson stops at the State?s Attorney?s Office and leaves the folded sheet of paper with his cousin, who is a Staff Investigator, after explaining how and where he found it. The Staff Investigator passes the sheet of paper along to the Assistant State?s Attorney handling the murder case against Jack Jones. The sheet of paper is used as evidence in the subsequent murder trial, and Jack Jones is convicted of first degree murder.

Adelphi County Jail Policy and Procedure Directive: ?Inmate Cell Searches?

A. An inmate cell search shall be conducted

(1) routinely, or

(2) randomly when directed by the Shift Commander,

(3) when an inmate residing in that cell is suspected of possessing contraband.

B. An inmate cell search shall be conducted as follows:

(1) Any inmate in the cell shall be removed from the area.

(2) All bedding will be removed and thoroughly inspected for contraband.

(3) All inmate appliances, clothing, footwear, and commissary products will be closely inspected to ensure that they are not being used to hide contraband.

(4) All inmate books, magazines, and other papers will be closely inspected to ensure that they are within the limit for paper materials (1 cubic foot maximum), they are not being used to hide contraband, and they do not contain evidence of a planned escape, disturbance, or other crime.

(5) Any item of contraband shall be confiscated.

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