Investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Use of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness and/or Intellectual Disabilities   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The Civil Rights Division has completed its investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' ('PDOC') use of solitary confinement on prisoners with serious mental illness ('SMI') and intellectual disabilities ('ID'). The investigation was conducted pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ('CRIPA'), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. CRIPA authorizes the Department of Justice to seek equitable relief where conditions in state correctional facilities violate the rights of prisoners protected by the Constitution of laws of the United States. […] Or systemwide investigation found that the Commonwealth uses solitary confinement in ways that violate the rights of prisoners with SMI/ID. However, it is important to note that in the months since we issued our Cresson Findings Letter, the overall number of prisoners with SMI/ID that PDOC subjects to solitary confinement has gone down. Moreover, PDOC's leadership has been developing new policies, that if adopted and implemented, would further reduce the number of prisoners with SMI/ID in solitary and improve mental health services for prisoners with SMI. Nonetheless, much more needs to be done. Throughout the PDOC system, hundreds of prisoners with SMI/ID remain in solitary confinement for months and sometimes years, with devastating consequences to their mental health, in violation of their rights under the Eighth Amendment and the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990].

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Prison Policy Initiative: http://www.prisonpolicy.org/
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