Pennsylvania

Proceedings allege “brutal treatment” for people with mental illness in Allegheny County Jail | News | Pittsburgh

Lawyers from two advocacy groups and one domestic law firm have filed a petition in federal court seeking relief from a class action lawsuit against all imprisoned people in Allegheny County Jail in need of mental health care.

The motion is a serious and systematic statement of the US Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding plaintiffs’ statements of prisons as “failures to provide adequate mental health care and discriminatory and brutal treatment of persons with mental illness.” Claiming a violation.

The motion was 20 of the findings that Allegheny County failed to provide adequate treatment and violated the rights of imprisoned people with mental illness by being exposed to long-term confinement and routine excessive force. Contains “convincing evidence” found over the duration of the month. For release on June 9th Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project.



“ACJ is unable to provide meaningful mental health care to people in custody and often actually seeks help and punishes individuals,” says PILP’s Alexandra Morgan Curts. “People imprisoned by ACJ have seen evidence that staff are suffering at best by closing their eyes and sometimes assaulting individuals with symptoms of mental illness. Their condition worsens and ACJ’s The rate of already high suicide completions and attempts increases. It is absolutely intolerable and inhumane. ”

A prison spokesperson refused to comment on the proceedings in dispute as a policy issue.

Class action Seek the relief of many plaintiffs facing similar situations. This is especially true if it is economically unrealistic to pursue each claim as a separate case. To initiate a class action, the judge must first prove that the group of individuals in question form a valid group.

In a recent motion, plaintiffs have or will have their class “currently or in the future imprisoned in Allegheny County Jail and have, or will have, a serious mental health diagnosis, disability, or disability as recognized by DSM. Defined as “all individuals of”. Includes, but is not limited to, V, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder. ”

The simply Submitted in support of the motion, plaintiffs provide “widespread” evidence that ACJ does not meet state and national standards for the provision of mental health care in “substantially all aspects.” To do. Minimal training or non-existent training. Ineffective ingestion procedures that cannot identify the patient’s needs. Poor treatment planning; Lack of counseling and treatment; No quality improvement program to evaluate unique policies and practices. ”

Brief also claims that instead of mental health care, ACJ is using power at a “much higher federal-wide” rate.

According to county data, ACJ filed 585 cases involving the use of force in 2020 and 720 such cases in 2019. In the next highest county in Pennsylvania, the number of incidents each year was less than half.

“This comprehensive survey of ACJ’s situation reinforces what we already knew. ACJ staff were terribly unprepared, and ACJ’s mental health care system was terribly and unconstitutionally unconstitutional. That’s enough, “says Jaclyn Kurin, a staff lawyer at the Abolitionist Law Center. .. If permitted, plaintiffs may seek a court order at ACJ to provide remedies for illegal policies and practices on behalf of anyone with a mental illness.

The proceedings were filed in the United States District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania, with former Deputy Secretary of Health Services Laura Williams, current Secretary Orlando Harper, former Mental Health Director Michael Burfield, and Allegheny County as defendants. Plaintiffs are represented by several lawyers at the Abolitionist Law Center, the Pennsylvania Law Project, and Schneder Harrison Seagull & Lewis LLP.



Proceedings allege “brutal treatment” for people with mental illness in Allegheny County Jail | News | Pittsburgh

Source link Proceedings allege “brutal treatment” for people with mental illness in Allegheny County Jail | News | Pittsburgh

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