Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Settlement meant to guarantee alternatives to segregation for mentally ill prisoners

A federal judge approved a settlement meant to reduce isolation for mentally ill prisoners in Massachusetts on Thursday.

The lawsuit, filed in 2007, stated that segregation for up to 23 hours a day violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and inmates' constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment after 11 inmates who were segregated committed suicide in a 28 month period. Eight more suicides occurred in 2010.

The settlement provides for use of alternative placements, psychological help for inmates as well as review of their cases for other options.

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