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Agency sues DOC over mentally ill prisoners

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A state agency created in response to a federal mandate is suing the Indiana Department of Correction for what it claims is poor treatment of mentally ill prisoners.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a federal suit in the Southern District of Indiana Wednesday on behalf of the Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services, which stands up for the rights and interests of Hoosiers with developmental and other disabilities.

In Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services Commission v. Indiana DOC Commissioner, No. 1:08-cv-1317, the 15-page suit alleges violations of the Constitution and Americans with Disabilities Act in that mentally ill prisoners aren't receiving adequate treatment and often are held in isolated conditions detrimental to their recovery.

The suit specifically points to conditions at the newly opened New Castle Correctional Facility where since the summer the DOC has secured 67 prisoners the agency identifies as being seriously mentally ill. Prisoners in the unit are confined in isolation for 23 hours a day, with one hour of individual recreation time allowed each day and a solitary shower three times a week, the suit claims.

In describing how prisoners receive recreation in a small, barred room and are fed in their cells without access to others, the suit notes that, "It is not a program that will adequately and effectively treat mental illness. Confinement in virtual isolation exacerbates the illnesses of those who are mentally ill and is extremely deleterious to the mental health of ... prisoners."

The suit requests a preliminary injunction that can eventually be made permanent and also asks for all plaintiff costs and attorney fees.

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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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