The Indiana Civil Liberties Union is challenging a lockdown at the state’s Pendleton Correctional Facility, reports the Indianapolis Star. In a federal lawsuit, the organization alleges inmates in one unit were housed two to a cell and confined there for nearly five months last year except for three showers a week. The ICLU’s Kenneth Falk said being confined in roughly 12-foot-by-8-foot cells with no opportunity for exercise violated constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. “We don’t tolerate that with animals,” Falk said. “And we shouldn’t tolerate that with human beings.”
One inmate serving a life sentence for murder argued that the the prolonged confinement caused him stress, weight gain, and muscle atrophy. During the lockdown, inmates reportedly were kept in cells at all times except for the showers, which lasted no more than 10 minutes. The suit said the men lived with toilets 6 to 8 inches from their beds.