DRN Files Suit for Isolated Mentally-Ill Prisoners

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN), a nonprofit corporation, has been designated by Pennsylvania as the organization under the federal Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 10801-07, to advocate for and protect the rights of individuals with mental illness, including prisoners with mental illness in state correctional facilities. DRN filed a complaint March 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania v. Wetzel, No. 13-CV-0635 (M.D. Pa. March 11, 2013), alleging that the secretary of the Department of Corrections (DOC), John E. Wetzel, knows or is deliberately indifferent to the fact that prisoners with serious mental illness confined to segregated units, known as restricted housing units (RHU), are subjected to horrific conditions that violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

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