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AP: Review faults NYC on solitary for mentally ill

November 6, 2013
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A new review has found the New York City Department of Correction is too often placing inmates with mental illnesses in solitary confinement.

About 40 percent of the roughly 12,200 inmates in the city's Rikers Island jail have a psychiatric diagnosis, and about a third of those have so-called serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The Correction Department says just over 50 percent of inmates in solitary are mentally ill. That population also breaks jailhouse rules more than twice as often as other inmates.

The report recommends eliminating the use of solitary for mentally ill inmates as a punishment and instead partnering with a teaching hospital to provide intensive therapeutic services.

The review was obtained by The Associated Press via a public records request.



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