Inmates of the Boys’ Training School v. Affleck
United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
346 F. Supp. 1354 (1972)
Five juveniles committed to the state Boys Training School (BTS inmates) (plaintiffs) filed a class-action lawsuit against the administrators of the school (BTS administrators) (defendants) challenging the conditions of confinement in multiple buildings at the facility. Juveniles committed to BTS were voluntarily committed by their parents, awaiting adjudication, adjudicated delinquent, adjudicated wayward for status offenses, or found to be abused or neglected by their parents. BTS consisted primarily of cottages on school grounds but also had distinct annex buildings, an annex cell block, and a maximum-security building that was part of adult corrections (the challenged buildings). Most boys incarcerated in the challenged buildings were transferred there because they posed disciplinary problems or attempted to escape from the cottages. Evidence at trial established that boys incarcerated in the challenged buildings received little to no schooling, were rarely or never allowed outside to exercise, were routinely denied basic hygiene supplies and medications, and some boys did not have access to food for 16-hour periods daily. Additionally, evidence established that many of the cells of the challenged buildings were bare, cement rooms that were often dark and cold, that the facilities often lacked medical staff, that BTS did not have any psychiatrists or psychologists on staff, and that boys could be held in solitary confinement cells for up to 15 days at a time. The BTS inmates sought an injunction against the use of some of the challenged buildings, as well as court-defined minimum conditions of confinement for juveniles at BTS.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pettine, C.J.)
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