Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mentally ill, in prison and locked away alone ... in South Carolina.

The tactic of locking away mentally ill inmates in solitary - often for months or years at a time - has been standard practice in Lieber and other South Carolina prisons for decades.
It's how prisons here, and in many states across the nation, have dealt with unruly - and potentially dangerous - inmates who lash out, try to hurt themselves or others, make threats or otherwise rail against efforts to control their behavior.
But nationally, the tide has been turning against this tactic, with states from Mississippi to Maine taking steps to reduce the number of prisoners housed in isolation, driven by a mix of humanitarian, legal and budgetary concerns. Critics contend solitary confinement has been overused, locking away inmates for nuisance offenses in an environment that can be psychologically crippling.
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