In October 2008, the DC Prisoners’ Project of the Washington Lawyer’s Committee and the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP settled a case on behalf of two women who had been sexually assaulted while incarcerated at the Correctional Treatment Facility in the District of Columbia.The CTF is a local jail facility run on behalf of the District by the Corrections Corporation of America, a for- profit private prison company.At least 1 million American prisoners suffer from mental illness, and of these only 15% of local inmates and 27% of state prisoners currently receive some treatment in the form of psychotropic drugs.
Finally, after more than two years of litigation, D. Superior Court Judge Melvin Wright ordered the District to comply with the Act and impose a population cap on the D. Washington Post and Washington City Paper reporters (alerted by WLC staff) gave the story prominence in the following days, leading the District to settle the case rather than seek an appeal of Judge Wright’s ruling.
Under the terms of the settlement, the District has agreed to comply with the population cap except in “exigent circumstances,” in which case the District will notify WLC, describe the circumstances requiring a higher population, and how long the population increase will continue.
Hitherto, state, county, and local jails have been required to provide healthcare for inmates.
But under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have two ways to shift this responsibility—along with its enormous costs—to federal taxpayers: Sadly, because the ACA is based on a conventional medical paradigm (“drugs and surgery for all!
Onlist of top ten legal drugs linked to violence, seven are psychotropics: three are SSRI antidepressants, two are another class of antidepressants, and two are for the treatment of ADHD.
(To learn more about the link between SSRIs and violence, read our February 2013 and March 2011 articles.)Antipsychotics are also extremely addictive: amphetamines (ADHD drugs like Adderall) and benzodiazepines (antianxiety drugs like Xanax) are both considered two of the world’s most addictive drugs.The Project addresses the problems of our clients with both litigation and non-litigation advocacy approaches, and has focused on both individual matters and broader, systemic strategies.The Project is engaged in litigation, including class action litigation, in federal and state courts in multiple jurisdictions, as well as in the District.How could states and the administration ignore this elephant in the room?So far, only six states and counties are signing up prisoners under the new ACA rules.The FDA says that it is opposed to untested, “off-label” use of drugs.