The American Civil Liberties Union and Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit against the state of Pennsylvania for the treatment of mentally ill inmates in the state prison system.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the complaint sites psychiatric studies that say the “horrific conditions” of restricted housing for mentally ill inmates makes their condition worse.
The lawsuit claims that restricted-housing inmates “are denied adequate mental health care and prohibited from working, participating in educational or rehabilitative programs, or attending religious services.”
Robert W. Meek, and attorney with the Disabilities Rights Network, said, “Inmates with serious mental illness always serve their maximum time because they cannot keep themselves together enough to make parole. Those people hit the street in a very bad situation, and the likelihood of their recidivism is high – extremely high.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections said the agency has not yet seen the lawsuit, and refused comment.