* June 16, 1971 -- District government announces plans to build new jail in Southeast Washington.

* July 21, 1971 -- Public Defender Services files suit against the city on behalf of four inmates held in the old jail, charging that confinement there is "cruel and unusual" punishment.

* Nov. 10, 1971 -- U.S. District Judge William B. Bryant issues the first consent order in the inmates' case. It protects the inmates, who testified during two days of hearings, from reprisals stemming from participation in the suit.

* January 1973 -- Virginia House of Delegates, calling District prison officials "arrogant" and "uncooperative," asks Congress for a federal takeover of Lorton Reformatory. The state also files suit against Lorton in federal court, seeking to have it labeled a "public nuisance."

* March 1975 -- Fairfax County Board of Supervisors joins the state's suit against Lorton and seeks to have the prison complex closed by 1980.

* March 19, 1975 -- Bryant orders an end to overcrowding at the D.C. Jail within 10 days, a ruling that compels the city to transfer 350 inmates.

* Aug. 7, 1975 -- An assistant corrections administrator tells Bryant that city officials never intended to comply with the plan they submitted after court's order to end overcrowding.

* Nov. 5, 1975 -- Bryant rules that conditions at the D.C. Jail are so bad that they represent cruel and unusual punishment and are unconstitutional. He also orders District officials to inspect the jail and report violations to him, and he orders the District to create an inmate classification system and provide physical and mental health services.

* Early 1976 -- New jail opens in Southeast Washington, but closing of old facility is delayed because of crowding.

* June 10, 1977 -- U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr., sitting in Alexandria, after declaring Lorton Reformatory a "public nuisance," says the facility can remain in Fairfax but must be improved.

* March 30, 1978 -- Court of Appeals upholds Bryant's orders concerning the D.C. Jail and rules that opening of new jail did not solve the city's prison problems.

* Sept. 22, 1982 -- Bryant allows inmates to be double-celled at the D.C. Jail as a way to reduce crowding.

* July 22, 1982 -- Inmates at the jail go on a rampage, setting fires that injure a guard and a D.C. firefighter. City orders immediate transfer of 456 inmates.

* Sept. 30, 1983 -- Bryant holds Mayor Marion Barry and two D.C. corrections department officials in contempt for violating orders on crowding.

* January 1985 -- Barry announces that he will support construction of a new prison inside the District.

* Aug. 22, 1985 -- Bryant sets D.C. Jail inmate cap of 1,694 after federal government agrees to accept prisoners.

* Jan. 14, 1986 -- Justice Department stops accepting D.C. prisoners.

* March 21, 1986 -- Barry announces he will build 700-to-800-bed prison in Southeast Washington, south of present jail.