Lawmakers considering bill to limit solitary confinement use for mental patients

co-state-capitol-300Colorado is trying to stop the use of solitary confinement for inmates with a serious mental illness with a bill being considered in the state House.  The mental health impacts of being placed in solitary has gotten more attention since the slaying of former Colorado corrections Director Tom Clements last year. The suspect was a former inmate who had been released after serving eight years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement.  The proposal heard by the House Judiciary Committee yesterday afternoon would prohibit the Colorado Department of Corrections from placing inmates in solitary confinement if they have a serious mental illness. The bill has already cleared the Senate.  Prison officials have been working to lower the number of mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement. In December, there were only eight.