Colorado

Jun 6, 2014 1:38 PM

Restrictions on solitary confinement now law

DENVER (AP) - Inmates with serious mental illnesses won't be placed in solitary confinement in Colorado under a new law.

The bill signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper Friday prohibits the Department of Corrections from putting mentally ill inmates in long-term solitary confinement, unless there are exigent circumstances.

The legislation aligns with what the department has already been working on. In late April, only one mentally ill inmate was in solitary confinement.

The mental health impacts of the punishment received more attention in Colorado after the slaying of former state corrections Director Tom Clements last year. The suspect had spent much of his eight years in prison in solitary confinement before being released.

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