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BOUDIN v. THOMAS

June 14, 1982

Kathie BOUDIN, Petitioner,
v.
Dale THOMAS, Warden of MCC, et al., Respondents



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUFFY

OPINION & ORDER

Kathie Boudin is presently charged with various heinous crimes committed in Rockland County, New York and is now in custody awaiting trial. Those in charge of her custody believe that it is necessary to keep her in a high security facility. The jail in Rockland County is far from a secure institution; indeed, colloquially it is referred to as a "sieve." New York State law requires that pretrial detainees be kept in a place separated from convicted persons. N.Y.Correc.Law § 500-c (McKinney's). The confluence of these seemingly disparate facts have led to this, my second opinion in this case. Some familiarity by the reader with my decision dated January 7, 1982 is assumed. Boudin v. Thomas, 533 F. Supp. 786 (S.D.N.Y.1982).

On or about October 20, 1981, Kathie Boudin was arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a Brink's armored truck during which one Brink's guard and two Nyack, New York police officers were killed. After the arrest, petitioner was taken to the Rockland County Jail. Concern about the lack of adequate security measures at that institution led the County and State officials to arrange with the United States Attorney for this District to house Ms. Boudin and one of her co-defendants in the Metropolitan Correctional Center ("MCC"), a federal institution in New York City. Plaintiff arrived at the MCC on October 26, 1981 and was immediately placed in administrative segregated detention. She remained in this type of detention until January 7, 1982. The conditions of her confinement were found by me in the first act of this litigation to be as follows:

 
1. Visits with members of her immediate family are permitted two days a week for a two hour time period;
 
2. No contact visits are allowed, even with Ms. Boudin's infant child;
 
3. Attorney visits are permitted any time between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Joint counsel visits are also permitted;
 
4. Petitioner is confined to her cell, except for the visits described above, for the rest of the day. One hour of recreation per day, consisting of solitary admission to the hall adjoining her cell, is provided;
 
5. Petitioner has been separated from her co-defendant Ms. Clark since her arrival at the MCC; and
 
6. Meals are served in her cell.

 533 F. Supp. at 788.

 On January 7, 1982, two things happened: (1) petitioner was removed by New York State and Rockland County in the utmost secrecy from the MCC to its Woodbourne Correctional Facility; and (2) since I had received absolutely no notification of Ms. Boudin's removal from the MCC, I filed my first opinion in this matter ordering that facility "to release Ms. Boudin forthwith from administrative detention, return her to general population and institute contact visits with Ms. Boudin ...." 533 F. Supp. at 793.

 When Ms. Boudin was transferred to the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, she was permitted to amend her complaint to include the State and County respondents in seeking a preliminary injunction requiring the various respondents to remove "... plaintiff Kathie Boudin from the conditions imposed at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, returning her to an appropriate facility placing her in general population, and compelling defendants to treat her in a non-discriminatory manner." Jurisdiction for the petitioner's complaint was based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, this court's contempt power to enforce the January 7, 1982 habeas corpus order and certain pendent state law claims. The request for preliminary relief, along with various defense motions to dismiss the amended complaint was referred to Magistrate Naomi Reice Buchwald who conducted a three day hearing and issued a Report and Recommendation on April 16, 1982. The petitioner and practically all of the respondents have filed memoranda objecting to some aspect of that Report.

 Before discussing any of the objections raised, it is necessary to set out the present conditions of Ms. Boudin's confinement as revealed by the record before me. I do that here not only so the arguments raised by the parties may be seen in context, but also to facilitate the comparison between the present state of affairs and the terms of the almost solitary confinement to which Ms. Boudin was subject at the MCC.

 The Woodbourne Correctional Facility is a high grade medium security facility for convicted male prisoners located in the Catskill Mountains. Apparently while Boudin was incarcerated at the MCC, a "special housing unit" was created in Woodbourne to house her and her co-defendants awaiting trial in the Rockland County ...


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