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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado’s Continued Warehousing of Mentally Ill Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

“This report examines past and continued use of solitary confinement by the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) to manage mentally ill prisoners; considers the moral, fiscal, safety and legal implications of CDOC’s continued warehousing of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement; and makes recommendations to bring Colorado’s prisons in line with modern psychiatric, correctional and legal standards” (p. 1). Sections following an executive summary include: key facts and findings; policy recommendations; introduction; background; seriously mentally ill prisoners living in isolation-- “Case Study: Descent into Madness”; discipline of mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement—“Case Study: The Tower of Power”; out-of-cell time for mentally ill prisoners; mental health staffing levels; conclusion and final recommendations; and photos of administrative segregation at CSP (Colorado State Penitentiary). “While the Residential Treatment Program was initiated in early 2013 as a means of providing intensive mental health care to prisoners with the most significant mental health needs, CDOC continues to resort to solitary confinement to manage many mentally ill prisoners” (p. 1).

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25 pages

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