Disability Law Center Reaches Big Settlement with Massachusetts Over Prison Suicides
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A settlement reached between the state and the Disability Law Center resolving a nearly five-year-old federal lawsuit is expected to cost the Department of Correction $5.6 million a year to improve its treatment of prisoners with severe mental illness and at a higher risk of suicide.
The lawsuit brought by the Disability Law Center against the Department of Correction in March 2007 alleged cruel and unusual punishment against inmates with mental illness stemming from the practice of segregating problem prisoners in isolation units.
Filed just after Gov. Deval Patrick came into office and naming many Romney-era prison officials, the lawsuit contended that the conditions imposed by segregated confinement in Bay State prisons “exceed the limit of human endurance” for prisoners with severe mental illness.