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USA: Callous and Cruel -Use of Force against Inmates with
Fri Apr 28, 2017 14:29

Callous and Cruel

Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons
African American Jermaine Padilla flooded his cell with water and had smeared himself with and eaten his own feces… The prison lawyers disputed, however, whether Padilla was “gravely disabled”
A mentally ill inmate was dragged from a cell. Prison staff now may face punitive damages.

… Rifkin said the videotaped 2012 cell extraction of her client, Jermaine Padilla, who was seen being pepper sprayed and dragged out screaming and strapped naked to a gurney for 72 hours, demonstrated that “almost two decades later, CDCR had still failed to correct these constitutional deprivations.”

“As a result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff’s ability to recover from mental health crises and actively participate in mental health treatment has been severely damaged,” Rifkin wrote. “Defendants compromised his ability to trust medical help, exacerbated and confirmed his worst fears as well as his paranoia and anxiety about others being out to hurt him, and left him in a state of decompensation for weeks and months such that it caused long-term damage to his brain.”

Padilla’s lawyers say prison doctors waited too long to involuntarily medicate him and that he should have been moved to a state mental hospital long before his eventual transfer.

Corrections lawyers confirmed in their court papers that in the weeks before his cell extraction from the Mental Health Crisis Bed unit at Corcoran State Prison, Padilla had stopped taking his medications. They also acknowledged that on the day of his July 24, 2012, removal, Padilla had flooded his cell with water and had smeared himself with and eaten his own feces. They also admitted that officers blasted Padilla with pepper spray from a 46-ounce container through the food port of his cell and hit him with the contents of three more 12-ounce canisters.

Then, after subduing Padilla, officers tied him down on a gurney for 72 hours, as ordered by his psychiatrist, Dr. Ernest Wagner, state attorneys said.

The prison lawyers disputed, however, whether Padilla was “gravely disabled” throughout his stay in the unit. They also contested whether officers used excessive force and whether Padilla was too impaired psychiatrically to meet conditions Wagner required for him to get out of the restraints.

They also disagreed that prison staff “acted with malice, oppressions, evil intent, or in reckless disregard for Plaintiff’s rights,” the requirements for punitive damages.

“Defendants deny these allegations and contend that Plaintiff received appropriate treatment and supervision while in the Mental Health Crisis Bed unit,” Deputy Attorney General Diana Esquivel wrote in her statement of the case. ….
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Mentally ill inmate extracted from Corcoran prison cell
Video of a mentally ill inmate at the state prison in California State Prison, Corcoran, as he is extracted from a holding cell on Dec. 3, 2012, after refusing to leave it voluntarily. The video was filmed by prison staffers, as required by department policy when guards prepare to use force against an inmate.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton has found that the use of force against mentally ill inmates in California prisons is unconstitutionally harsh. Karlton ordered state officials to continue revising the use-of-force procedures deployed against the state's 33,000 mentally ill prisoners and to limit the use of solitary confinement as a means of disciplining such inmates.c
A mentally ill inmate was dragged from a cell. Prison staff now may face punitive damages.

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California: Mentally ill former inmate dragged from cell to receive $950,000 in settlement

With plaintiffs about to rest, the state prison system agreed before court began Tuesday to stop the trial and pay a mentally ill former inmate $950,000.

Jurors in the federal court trial in Sacramento said the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation made the right call to settle the case with Jermaine Padilla, the ex-prisoner.

Padilla's videotaped cell extraction where prison officers repeatedly pepper sprayed him and then strapped him naked onto a gurney for 72 hours pretty much settled the matter in the jurors' minds.

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List by Petra Hädrich-Kabacali (moderated)