Colorado

Jul 23, 2013 2:18 PM by Kate Richards

ACLU reports most with mental illnesses left in solitary confinement

DENVER (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union says nearly 90 percent of the seriously mentally ill inmates in Colorado state prisons were in solitary confinement this year.

The ACLU's Colorado chapter says many of them have been in solitary for at least four years, despite legal and expert recommendations that prisons stop confining them in isolation.

The Denver Post reported the results of the ACLU's study on Tuesday.

The ACLU says the percentage of mentally ill prisoners held in solitary confinement increased from 2011 to 2012 while the total number of prisoners in solitary declined.

Corrections officials said they hadn't reviewed the report and wouldn't comment on specifics. They said the prison system has made improvements in the last year in the way it handles mentally ill prisoners.

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