A class-action lawsuit was filed on June 18, 2012 against Florence ADX for purposely mistreating mentally ill prisoners. Florence ADX is a supermax prison where prisoners are locked down in tiny cells for 24 hours a day. They are lucky if they get their one hour in the recreational cage. However, 11 prisoners have filed a class-action lawsuit against Florence ADX.
The lawsuit, styled Bacote, et al v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, has been filed to try and make the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) follow its own policies and rules about the treatment of mentally ill prisoners. Additionally, the lawsuit also seeks to get the BOP to comply with at least the minimum of medical treatment and care for their prisoners. Proper treatment of prisoners is guaranteed by the Eight Amendment of the Constitution.
According to the complaint, "Some prisoners mutilate their own bodies with razors, shards of glass, sharpened chicken bones, writing utensils and whatever other objects they can obtain. Others swallow razor blades, nail clippers, broken glass and other dangerous objects. Many engage in fits of screaming and ranting for hours on end. Others carry on delusional conversations with the voices they hear in their heads, oblivious to reality and the danger that such behavior might pose to themselves and to anyone who interacts with them. Still others spread feces and other waste throughout their cells, throw it at the correctional staff and otherwise create health hazards at ADX. Suicide attempts are common; many have been successful." Additionally, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against in federal court in Colorado. That lawsuit, styled Vega v. Davis, asserts that a prisoner at ADX suffering from mental illness committed suicide while he was there because he was not given proper treatment.
It is about time that somebody does something about these so-called Supermax prisons and how they treat prisoners. Additionally, the Senate had a hearing on the effects of solitary confinement this month, which researched the effects of extended solitary confinement on a person.