Inmate Anthony Gay says that instead of medicating his anxiety problem, a psychiatrist at Illinois’ Tamms super-maximum prison had him strapped naked to a metal bed frame for up to 32 hours at a time. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Gay’s lawsuit against the doctor, being heard this week in front of a federal jury in East. St. Louis, is part of a cascade of events focusing fresh attention on an institution the state knew would be controversial before it opened.
Gov. Pat Quinn has ordered a review of the prison’s practices. – His new prison director acknowledges that conditions there might make inmates suicidal. Legal experts say Gay’s complaint may be the first of its kind to get this far in the courts. He seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, claiming “cruel and unusual” punishment by Dr. Rakesh Chandra. Gay told jurors his anxiety leads him to self-mutilate, cutting his arms, legs, neck and penis so many times that his body is badly scarred. The case was discussed this week at a congressional hearing led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il.)