Mentally Ill Inmate Sues Department of Corrections

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(Photo: CPR/Andrea Dukakis)

Troy Anderson hasn't seen the sun in ten years. Since 2000,he's been in solitary confinement--in an 8 by 12 foot cell in Colorado's highest security prison. And he's mentally ill. Now, with legal assistance from students and lawyers from the University of Denver School of Law, Anderson is suing the Colorado Department of Corrections. According to the lawsuit, his case adds up to cruel and unusual punishment. The suit also raises questions about the use of solitary confinement--and about treatment for mentally ill inmates. Department officials wouldn't talk to us for this story. Brittany Glidden is the Civil Rights Fellow at DU's Student Law Office. She's supervising the case and she spoke with Ryan Warner.