Saturday, February 26, 2005

State Penitentiary Tries to Accommodate Disabled Prisoners

See this interesting AP dispatch from North Dakota. A few excerpts:

When Kim Casey begins serving a six-year manslaughter sentence on Monday, he will be one of four prisoners at the state Penitentiary in wheelchairs.

His lawyer has raised questions about whether the penitentiary is equipped for a disabled inmate. The warden and other wheelchair inmates acknowledge the Bismarck prison is old, but they say prisoners' disabilities have not caused major problems.

* * *

Flanagan, who is serving a three-year term for fraud, said he worries more about abuse from other inmates than about navigating the building.

"The problem in this penitentiary is that a lot of young kids think they're the toughest thing since gangsters and they like to reach out and grab us," he said. "That's the problem going right now that needs to be straightened out."

Inmates who fear for their safety can fill out separation forms or check themselves into protective custody, Schuetzle said.

"That's always a concern," Schuetzle said. "You're putting in very vulnerable people with the most aggressive predatory type guys in the whole state.


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