On Tuesday, June 4, 2002, the case brought by Yuriko Kawaguchi against former Judge Patricia Cleary, Sheriff Gerald McFaul, and various other County jail personnel will be formally settled and dismissed.
Ms. Kawaguchi, who successfully argued to the Eighth District Court of Appeals that her sentence of incarceration was improperly based on her stated intention to abort her pregnancy if granted probation (the recommended sentence in her case), will sign the Settlement Agreement in the Courtroom of Presiding Judge Richard McMonagle. Former Judge Cleary was defeated for re-election the following year and was thereafter suspended from the practice of law for six months by the Ohio Supreme Court based on her conduct surrounding the case.
Ms. Kawaguchi was subsequently granted early release from probation, has given birth to and, with her parents’ assistance, is raising her child. In the three years since the Appeals Court reversed Judge Cleary’s sentence and ordered probation, Ms. Kawaguchi has returned to college, held two full-time jobs, and received an associate degree with honors. She will re-enter the University of California at Berkeley in the fall of this year.
The Settlement Agreement incorporates, in addition to a monetary payment, what is likely one of the most far-reaching and progressive commitments to reproductive health and freedom of choice for women in any local prison in the county. The Agreement commits the jail to a program that includes, in general, the following:
- Screening of female inmates for pregnancy and STDS (sexually transmitted diseases) and for risks to minor children of their incarceration;
- Educational programs regarding safe sex, contraception, and family planning;
- Information regarding prenatal care, availability and cost of pregnancy termination services and adoption services;
- Transportation by female corrections officers of pregnant inmates for medical treatment, including pregnancy termination, following state mandated counseling;
- Visitation by minor children (where possible) with mothers incarcerated at the County jail; and
- Education for jail social workers regarding women’s reproductive health issues, including available medical treatment, birth control, pregnancy termination and adoption services.
Ms. Kawaguchi and her attorneys, former Judge Linda Rocker, Joan Englund, and George Carr will be available for comment following execution of the Agreement.