× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.
Mental Cases Warehoused in IMU
By Mark LaRue
You would not believe how they are running the Intensive Management Unit (IMU) here at Walla Walla. The tier I am on is filled with nuts who loud talk day and night. Mental health staff openly admit that these people are housed on tiers throughout the IMU. But they deny that the IMU is being used to warehouse the insane. Worse yet, they deny IMU is used to house their disciplinary problems, and they insist that it's okay to discipline mentally disturbed prisoners in the same manner as other inmates.
Needless to say, they do not explain how they are able to do that without housing them in IMU. But is goes without saying that they are doing precisely that. IMU guards acknowledge as much, too. And none of them like having to deal with these guys one bit. Moreover, the cops are not trained to deal with the disciplinary behavior of mental cases.
This lack of adequate medical supervision, I believe, led to the death of an IMU inmate last week. From what I hear he was an epileptic and died form a seizure induced by a lack of medication. He had been on the Third Floor of the prison's hospital [the mental health unit] a few times, and I suspect he was an epileptic with mental problems as well.
I have already filed a lawsuit over the conditions here. Nuts are screaming all hours of the day and night. The place has very bad acoustics; the noise level is amplified by the construction of the tiers. It's like living inside an echo chamber.
Added to the noise is the so-called night-lights that remain on 24-hours a day. Officials swear up and down that they are "low level" lights. But I'd bet my lights are 75 to 100 watts at least.
So I am suing over all of that as well as the behavior modification program they are running here. Administrative segregation guys can't even order regular store. It is a privilege we must "earn" now. After 8 weeks of clear conduct you can request promotion to a level which allows you to order store. But if you are infracted, not found guilty, just infracted, you are automatically demoted to a lower level.
I'll have more to say about IMU in the future.
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login