On February 24, 2023, in the Armstrong case, Judge Claudia Wilken issued an order adopting the findings of the Court Expert’s report issued December 20, 2022 and requiring the Court Expert to monitor Defendants’ efforts to address ADA violations at SATF. The Court Expert’s report is here. After the Court Expert filed his report, the parties filed briefs about the steps Defendants must take to remedy ADA violations at SATF. As Judge Wilken noted in her order, “Defendants did not object to any of the Court Expert’s factual findings.” Judge Wilken adopted the Court Expert’s undisputed factual findings in full and ordered Defendants to remedy the ADA violations at SATF, with the Court Expert to issue a further report in six months assessing Defendants’ progress and proposing additional remedies. The Court’s February 24, 2023 order is here.
From the introduction to the Court Expert’s report:
“This report outlines our findings following a year-long investigation into how the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison – Corcoran (SATF) treats its disabled population. The findings are troubling. In recent years, SATF has been a difficult place to be an incarcerated person with disabilities. The moment class members arrive at SATF, they encounter a system that can cause them to lose the equipment, supplies, or medications they need to manage their conditions. They face obstacles obtaining durable medical equipment (DME) when their disabilities change or their DME break or need to be replaced. When they ask for basic supplies they need for their conditions, sometimes they are told, incorrectly, that those supplies are not available, and other times that they already have enough supplies. They often must file multiple requests to obtain a medical appointment, sometimes having to resort to the disability accommodation request process just to be seen by medical staff. Their interactions with those staff are frequently more challenging than at other institutions, with medical staff issuing inappropriate rules violation reports against their patients or treating them with impatience or indifferent to their needs. “