Mentally ill inmates sue sheriff over solitary confinement - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Mentally ill inmates sue sheriff over solitary confinement

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By: The Associated Press

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A lawsuit filed against officials at a Massachusetts county jail alleges that mentally ill inmates are often held in solitary confinement with little treatment, but the sheriff dismisses the accusations as lies from disgruntled inmates.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Sheriff Thomas Hodgson and other officials at the Bristol County Jail.

It accuses jail officers of failing to assess inmates’ mental health history before segregating them from the rest of the population and failing to provide effective treatment.

Hodgson says state agencies and national accreditation organizations have regularly visited the jail and found that its policies meet standards. He says the lawsuit is riddled with inaccuracies and lies.

The plaintiffs are represented by the advocacy groups Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts and the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee.

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