Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Torture at the Supermax Prison

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Lesson Title

Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Torture at the Supermax Prison

E-Newscast Video Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9AX10iz-j0

Video Length

Two minutes and fifty-six seconds

Grade Level

High School & Above

Summary

A recent lawsuit filed against the US Penitentiary’s Administrative Maximum Security prison in Fremont, Colorado alleges extensive torture of people with disabilities. So far, there are already 11 named plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit, but Andrew Cohen, author of the Atlantic article that exposed the details of the allegations, posits that more names will be added. The lawsuit demands an extensive but not impossible number of changes, with the intention of improving the inhumane conditions of confinement at the prison.

Review Questions

What is the average ratio of mental health professionals to prisoners in the Supermax facility?

Which amendment does the treatment of these prisoners by the facility allegedly violate?

What changes does the lawsuit call for?

Free writing “Journal” Prompt

What kind of psychological elements are at play in the Supermax facility, if any, between the abusers and the prisoners with disabilities?

Can you think of anyone you know who has been affected by some kind of mental illness or disability, no matter the scale?

How can a person practice active empathy for another person with a mental illness?

What about this report do you have questions about, or want to know more about?