Tag: mentally ill inmates

Senate Hearing This AM on Solitary Confinement

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, will hold a hearing this morning on solitary confinement. It begins at 10 am ET. BOP Director Charles Samuels will be speaking. I wonder if his medical director and co-defendant, Newton Kendig, will be with him. Sen. Richard Durbin is chairing the hearing. There will be a webast at the Senate's website.

The lawsuits are trickling in now. (More here. I hope the side arguing against solitary confinement gets the most media attention.

The biggest horror story I've read yet is that of John Jay Powers, in the suit filed yesterday:

Mr. Powers was convicted of bank robbery in 1990. At that time, he had no history or symptoms of serious mental illness. While in custody, he witnessed three inmates murder another inmate, stabbing him 13 times. He was transferred to protective custody, twice testified against the murderers, and suffered repeated threats against his life by other inmates. Around this time, he began to suffer from PTSD. He briefly escaped from prison and was transferred to ADX in 2001, where he spent nearly 10 years in an isolation unit and became mentally deranged.

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Class Action Suit Against Supermax : Treatment Not Fit for Dogs

A class action has been filed against the Bureau of Prisons and several top officials by 11 mentally ill inmates, on behalf of all mentally ill inmates, alleging horrific mistreatment at Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado. The case is Bacote, et al v. Federal Bureau of Prisons. A website has been set up with information about the case, SuperMaxLawsuit.com. According to the 108 page complaint which alleges deliberate mistreatment:

Some prisoners mutilate their own bodies with razors, shards of glass, sharpened chicken bones, writing utensils and whatever other objects they can obtain. Others swallow razor blades, nail clippers, broken glass and other dangerous objects. Many engage in fits of screaming and ranting for hours on end. Others carry on delusional conversations with the voices they hear in their heads, oblivious to reality and the danger that such behavior might pose to themselves and to anyone who interacts with them.

Still others spread feces and other waste throughout their cells, throw it at the correctional staff and otherwise create health hazards at ADX. Suicide attempts are common; many have been successful."


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