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Appeals court revives lawsuit over dirty TN inmate

•  National News     updated  2011/04/20 08:43


A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit that claims that an inmate at a privately run jail was denied mental health treatment and did not shower or leave his segregated cell for nine months.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said last week that the lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of American should not have been dismissed by a lower court in 2009. The divided court opinion said there was a genuine question about how much physical injury inmate Frank Horton suffered while incarcerated.

CCA spokesman Steve Owen said company lawyers are assessing the opinion and still deciding what the next step will be.

Mary Braswell filed a federal lawsuit in 2008 against CCA accusing the private prison operator of treating her grandson inhumanely at the Nashville jail and violating his constitutional rights.

She claimed that Horton was mentally ill and deteriorated severely while he locked up for a non-violent probation violation from December 2005 to April 2008.

Court records say that Horton has a history of mental illness, and he was segregated from the general population in the jail because of behavioral problems. CCA guards had to use force at times to get Horton to take a shower and to keep him from fighting with other inmates, the records say.



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