Lawsuit: Pennsylvania county jail punishes mentally ill

Pennsylvania Headlines

This Feb. 25, 2013 photo shows the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh. Four inmates on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 sued Allegheny County jail and mental health officials, alleging the in Pennsylvania facility offers inadequate treatment and medication for inmates with mental health disabilities and often punishes them with extended solitary confinement or excessive force. (Philip G. Pavely/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP)

Five inmates have sue Allegheny County, jail and mental health officials alleging the Pennsylvania facility offers inadequate treatment and medication for inmates with mental health disabilities and often punishes them with extended solitary confinement or excessive force instead of offering treatment.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court Tuesday and seeks class-action status to add additional current and former inmates.

Lawyers say inmates reported being forced into restraint chairs and disciplinary retribution including use of stun guns, pepper spray, and solitary confinement for requesting mental health care or for mental health episodes.

A county spokesperson declined to comment on the litigation.

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