Judge: Alabama has been ‘indifferent’ to isolated inmates

Judge: Alabama has been ‘indifferent’ to isolated inmates
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge says Alabama has been "deliberately indifferent" about adequately checking on the mental health of state inmates placed in the isolation of segregation cells.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued the ruling Monday. The decision comes days after attorneys for inmates said the suicide rate in state prisons has reached an emergency level.

Thompson ruled the Alabama prison system has failed to "provide adequate periodic mental health assessments of prisoners in segregation." He said that creates a "substantial risk of serious harm for those prisoners."

Thompson did not issue an immediate remedy.

Attorneys for inmates said Friday that there have been 13 inmate suicides in the last 14 months.

The prison system responded that it was working to address a recent spike in suicides.