Monday, June 20, 2005

S.C. Suit Challenges Treatment of Prisoners with Mental Illness

See this story, which begins:

On Monday a Columbia advocacy group sued the state and the Corrections Department.

People with Disabilities said the prison agency doesn't properly care for mentally ill patients. The lawsuit alleges the prison system inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on prisoners in its custody.

The plaintiffs include three unidentified inmates in addition to the advocacy group. The group asked the court to order the state to design and pay for an adequate system of treating mentally ill inmates.

State prisons director Jon Ozmint did not immediately respond to questions Monday. The lawsuit also claimed prison guards aren't properly trained to handle mentally ill patients and that medication is often delayed or discontinued altogether.


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