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Protecting the Bill of Rights in Utah since 1958

NLS v. Jones (1997)

10 September 1997 Published in Resolved Cases

Prison/Jails - In May 1997, the ACLU of Utah and the Disability Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Utah State Prison inmate NLS. NLS had a long and well-documented history of mental illness, including numerous suicide attempts and incidents of self-mutilation. During his incarceration at the Utah State Prison, NLS was taken off all medications intended to treat his mental illness and shackled with metal restraints to a stainless steel board in a spread-eagle position for over twelve weeks.

NLS was released from the board on an average of only four times per week, and long periods of time passed during which he received no attention from medical staff for his basic needs. While NLS was shackled to the board, he was placed in a cell where the light glared twenty-four hours a day, he was given minimal cover, and little attention was paid to his personal hygiene needs. In September 1997, the ACLU of Utah reached a favorable settlement on behalf of NLS.