Prison medical care lawsuit: Inmate’s mother says just treat them ‘like humans’

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.al.com

Reesa Gentle of Scottsboro speaks about her son, a state inmate at St. Clair Correctional Facility, during a news conference in Montgomery, Ala., on July 17, 2014. Gentle’s son, Joshua Dunn, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging unconstitutionally poor medical and mental health care in Alabama’s prisons. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Reesa Gentle of Scottsboro says she lies awake at night wondering if her son is safe.

Her son, Joshua Dunn, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that alleges the Alabama Department of Corrections does such a poor job at providing medical care for state inmates that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

“We just want them to be treated like humans. Don’t throw them away and try to hide them,” Gentle said at a Montgomery news conference to announce the lawsuit.

“If I could do the time for him, I would,” she said.

Dunn is one of 40 inmates named as plaintiffs in the 120-page complaint filed by lawyers from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program. The plaintiffs asked the court to make the case a class action lawsuit, so that they can represent all current and future prisoners.

The lawsuit claims the Department of Corrections fails to provide a constitutionally required level of medical and mental health care and violates federal laws requiring accommodations for disabled prisoners.

DOC Commissioner Kim Thomas issued a statement saying that DOC believes many…

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