Disabilities group launches lawsuit over conditions in Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A federal lawsuit was filed Thursday against Richland County by a disability advocate group in South Carolina.
The lawsuit is filed by Disability Rights South Carolina in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina. Burnette Shutt and McDaniel attorneys Stuart Andrews, Nekki Shutt and Sarah J.M. Cox are representing the group.
The lawsuit claims the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center has unconstitutional and inhumane conditions. It says detainees with disabilities that have not been convicted of a crime are subject to:
- Small, unsanitary cells for up to 24 hours at a time.
- Denial of adequate mental health care.
- Extended periods of solitary confinement.
- Locked into showers too small to sit in for up to 48 hours at at time.
The lawsuit says detainees with disabilities can be shackled to a chair up to days at a time with handcuffs and zip ties. It also says while restrained, the detainees are left without adequate monitoring or any breaks, including for using the bathroom. Additionally, it says the center leaves the detainees naked in cells without monitoring, even during suicide watch.
The organization said, “Complaints from detainees, their attorneys and loved ones have been disregarded by the detention center of years.” It also says the practices at Alvin S. Glenn violate the Fourth Amendment, which requires individuals in pretrial custody to be prevented from harm and not subject to punishment.
The complaint is asking the court to assume jurisdiction an declare the practices at the center unconstitutional. This would include injunctions to prevent the center from detaining individuals with disabilities until they change their practices and increase staffing. The complaint is also asking the center to submit to the court a plan for fixing the issues and to report to a monitor to ensure the reforms are in place.
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