MONTGOMERY, Alaska (Good Medical) – A federal judge said Monday that Alabama was "deliberately indifferent" with regard to monitoring the mental health of state inmates placed in cell phones. isolation.
US District Judge Myron Thompson issued the decision a few days after inmates' lawyers said the suicide rate in state prisons had reached a crisis level.
"The court finds that the fact that Alabama's prison system does not provide adequate periodic assessments of the mental health of segregated inmates creates a significant risk of serious harm to these inmates," Thompson wrote. in an order of 66 pages.
Thompson wrote that prison officials were "deliberately indifferent about their inability to provide adequate periodic assessments of the mental health of segregated inmates."
Spokesman of the Alabama Correctional Services Department, Bob Horton, said the ministry was reviewing the decision.
Thompson in 2017 wrote that mental health care in state prisons was "terribly inadequate" and violated the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment contained in the eighth amendment. In his Monday order, Thompson said that the lack of adequate supervision of segregated inmates contributes to unconstitutional conditions.
Thompson asked the penitentiary system and the inmates' lawyers to consult on the procedure to be followed.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which represents detainees in the class action lawsuit against mental health care in prison, welcomed the decision.
"It has been obvious for years that ADOC has failed to identify, monitor and properly treat people with serious mental illnesses who develop them under its care. This systematic failure has led to unnecessary suffering, especially for people in segregation, "said Maria Morris, senior counsel supervising the SPLC.
The rights organization said on Friday that there had been 13 suicides in 14 months.
"People are killing themselves in our prisons because the conditions are appalling," said Southern Poverty Law Center chairman Richard Cohen at a press conference with the families of the detainees.
The prison system said Friday in an answer that he was working to solve the problem, and said the suicide surge "calls into question the long-term effectiveness of the suicide prevention measures proposed by the SPLC "during the trial.