When an inmate began acting out in ways that indicated he was becoming psychotic, federal prison officials allegedly decided to deal with the symptoms rather than address the inmate’s illness.
According to The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen, Justice Department lawyers arrived in Colorodo’s District Court on Wednesday to defend against an emergency order claiming that inmate Jonathan Francisco had been mistreated by ADX-Florence “Supermax” prison.
Inmate Jonathan Francisco is reportedly so mentally ill that he ingests and smears his own f*ces, but instead of treating Francisco’s mental illness, prison officials worked only to eliminate the odor by cordoning off the inmate’s cell with sandbags.
The plaintiff’s motion also indicates that Francisco’s mental health worsened, resulting in him going mute, refusing even to speak to family members with whom he once had a close relationship.
Here is the quote from the plaintiff’s motion detailing the severity of Francisco’s mental illness:
He also obsessively hoards and handles his own feces, placing it on food trays, rolling it into balls, making sculptures out of it, and smearing it on his walls and sometimes on his body or in his hair. He has repeatedly defecated in common-use shower facilities, and on at least one occasion has been seen consuming his feces. In addition, he often has little if any personal property in his cell, frequently sleeps without even a mattress, and continuously lives in unsanitary conditions verging on squalor.
Instead of seeking mental health treatment for Francisco, lawyers allege that the Federal Bureau of Prison’s “response to his situation, thus far, has been to occasionally force him into a shower stall, and to pile sandbags outside his door in a futile effort to prevent the overwhelming smell of feces emanating from his cell from spreading throughout the part of the prison where he lives.”
The Bureau of Prisons did not offer much of a defense during the court hearing and agreed to get Francisco help for his mental illness.