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The Boston Globe


Lawsuit targets isolation at Bridgewater hospital

Man’s condition alleged to decline with long seclusion, use of restraints

The mother of a 31-year-old mentally ill Brookline man who has been held at Bridgewater State Hospital for more than a year is set to file a lawsuit Monday accusing prison officials of illegally keeping her son in seclusion or strapped to a bed for days and even weeks on end, according to the mother’s lawyer.

In the lawsuit, a copy of which was reviewed by the Globe, Joanne Minich says that her son Peter’s mental health is rapidly declining because prison administrators and clinicians have kept him alone in a small cell for 6,300 hours over the last 14 months and in four-point restraints with his wrists and ankles fastened to a small bed for 815 hours — or, in total, about 70 percent of the time he has been held at Bridgewater.

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