Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In Re Petition of Owen

OPINION FILED APRIL 2, 1973.

IN RE PETITION OF DOUGLAS OWEN ET AL. — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,

v.

DOUGLAS OWEN ET AL., APPELLEES.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. WILLIAM S. WHITE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE RYAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal from an order of the juvenile division of the circuit court of Cook County directing the Department of Corrections of the State of Illinois to establish guidelines for the administration of certain procedures affecting wards of that court who are confined to the Illinois Industrial School for Boys at Sheridan (Sheridan). The order, in addition to directing the establishment of guidelines, as pointed out later in this opinion, is quite specific as to what those guidelines should be.

The petitioners, Owen, Stewart, Tate and Burton, were minors in the custody of the assistant director of the Department of Corrections pursuant to an order of the juvenile division of the circuit court of Cook County entered under the authority of the Juvenile Court Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 37, par. 701-1 et seq.) Each had been adjudged delinquent by that court.

Each of the petitioners had filed lengthy and detailed petitions seeking varied relief. The petitions which were consolidated and upon which the hearing was ultimately conducted were filed on behalf of the petitioners and the class they purport to represent. The petitions alleged that the minors confined at Sheridan were subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and denied due process of law in that they were kept in solitary confinement for lengthy periods of time and were given injections of tranquilizing drugs. The petition prayed that the assistant director of the Department of Corrections be ordered to report regarding his care and treatment of the petitioners and requested the court to enter an order upon the Department of Corrections compelling specific treatment of all wards of that court committed to its care. The order directing the assistant director to file his report was entered. Following the filing of the written report a hearing was conducted.

Following the hearing the court found that injections of a tranquilizing drug, thorazine, were forcibly administered to the residents of the school as a behavior control device; that there is no evidence that the use of thorazine was part of any program of psychotherapy; that solitary confinement of an inmate, referred to as "confined to room," was used as a behavior control device; and that the school has no educational or vocational training programs especially adapted to slow learners. The court also concluded that it had jurisdiction over both the subject matter and the persons here involved under the Juvenile Court Act.

On the basis of the above findings and conclusions, the court entered an order enjoining the continuation of practices then in effect regarding the disciplinary use of solitary confinement and tranquilizing drugs. It ordered the promulgation of regulations regarding the use of these devices in disciplining or treating wards of the circuit court of Cook County. The court specifically ordered that no intramuscular injection of thorazine or other tranquilizer be given to the wards of the court at Sheridan except as part of a treatment for medical or emotional disorder and then only pursuant to written rules and regulations containing guidelines or safeguards for the use of the drugs. The court stated that the guidelines shall, among other things, include the following:

"a. A prohibition against the administration of such drugs unless there has been a complete and thorough attempt to induce the ward to control his behavior or actions without the administration of such drug and no such drug may be administered intramuscularly until a thorough attempt has been made to induce the ward to accept administration of the drug orally and until it appears that the ward absolutely will not receive such drug in any way other than intramuscularly.

b. A requirement that whenever such tranquilizing drugs are administered to a ward intramuscularly for a period exceeding 24 hours, a full and complete report shall be made to the ward's Guardian Ad Litem indicating what drug was or is being administered, when and how much and an explanation as to the reason for administering the drugs and what other actions were taken to solve the problems giving rise to the administration of the drugs.

c. A requirement that whenever the drug thorazine or any similar `Major tranquilizer' is administered to a ward of this Court he shall be examined by a physician within 24 hours of the initial administration and at least once every 24 hours thereafter as long as the ward continues to receive such a tranquilizing drug.

d. A requirement that whenever thorazine or any similar `Major tranquilizer' is administered, the ward shall be visited by his counselor and counseled within eight hours after each injection.

e. A prohibition against the administration of the drug thorazine or any similar `Major tranquilizer' when to do so would in any way impair the physical well being of any said ward."

The order further required the Department of Corrections to establish guidelines for the use of disciplinary proceedings which might be taken against the wards of the court, and stated that the guidelines shall include the following:

"a. A requirement that the Department of Corrections shall formulate rules and regulations relating to the conduct of a ward who is admitted to its facilities at Sheridan. These rules shall set forth what disciplinary actions, if any, will be taken for violation of said rules and regulations. They shall be formulated in clear and concise language understandable to any ward, they shall be reduced to writing and shall be distributed to each ward upon his admission to the institution.

b. A requirement that before taking disciplinary action, when such action can result in solitary confinement or confinement to room, the alleged violation of rules and regulations shall be reduced to writing and a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.