Investigation of Pennsylvania's Use of Solitary Confinement

On Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness and/or Intellectual Disabilities

Investigation
of
Pennsylvania's
Use of Solitary
Confinement

Samuels, Jocelyn and David J. Hickton. “Investigation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections’ Use of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness and/or Intellectual Disabilities.” Findings Letter. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, February 24, 2014.

 

“On November 30, 2011, [the US Department of Justice: Civil Rights Division] opened an investigation into conditions at a State Correctional Institution in Cresson, Pennsylvania. On May 31, 2013, we issued our findings. We concluded that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' (PDOC) use of long-term and extreme forms of solitary confinement on prisoners with serious mental illness at Cresson, many of whom also have intellectual disabilities, violated their rights under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We also expanded our investigation statewide, focusing on similar issues. On February 24, 2014, we issued findings concluding that PDOC was violating the rights of prisoners under the Eighth Amendment and the ADA statewide across Pennsylvania's 26 prisons.”

 

Click here to view the Department of Justice’s findings letter.

 

Click here for the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section site with links to the case summary and Findings Letters about specific institutions.

 

Keywords: Pennsylvania, CRIPA, civil rights, serious mental illness, eighth amendment, mental health