Us sedating dangerous prisoners


08-Mar-2020 20:38

In addition, state law gives him the right to state-court review of the committee's decision. The trial court rejected his claim that the failure to provide a judicial hearing before the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Both of the involuntary treatment proceedings were conducted in accordance with the SOC Policy. The State Supreme Court reversed and remanded, concluding that, under the Clause, the State could administer such medication to a competent, nonconsenting inmate only if, in a judicial hearing at which the inmate had the full panoply of adversarial procedural protections, the State proved by "clear, cogent, and convincing" evidence that the medication was both necessary and effective for furthering a compelling state interest. The case is not rendered moot by the fact that the State has ceased administering antipsychotic drugs to Harper against his will. The Due Process Clause permits the State to treat a prison inmate who has a serious mental illness with antipsychotic drugs against his will, if he is dangerous to himself or others and the treatment is in his medical interest. North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Union, Inc., 433 U.

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The inmate has the right to appeal the committee's decision to the Superintendent of the Center within 24 hours, and the Superintendent must decide the appeal within 24 hours after its receipt. In November 1983, respondent was transferred from the Center to the Washington State Reformatory. Respondent was the subject of another committee hearing in accordance with Policy 600.30, and the committee again approved medication against his will. Since being sentenced to prison in 1976, he has been diagnosed and treated for a serious mental disorder. Respondent continued to receive antipsychotic drugs, subject to the required periodic reviews, until he was transferred to the Washington State Penitentiary in June 1986. 1983 (1982 ed.) against various individual defendants and the State, claiming that the failure to provide a judicial hearing before the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication violated the Due Process, Equal Protection, and Free Speech Clauses of both the Federal and State Constitutions, as well as state tort law. Even while on parole, respondent continued to receive treatment, at one point under a civil commitment order, at state mental hospitals. An inmate may obtain judicial review of the committee's decision, and the trial court found that the record compiled under the Policy was adequate to allow such a review. 110 Wash.2d 873, 759 P.2d 358, (1988); reversed and remanded. * Respondent Walter Harper was sentenced to prison in 1976 for robbery. In December 1981, the State revoked respondent's parole after he assaulted two nurses at a hospital in Seattle.

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Nor is the Policy deficient in not allowing representation by counsel, since the provision of an independent lay adviser who understands the psychiatric issues is sufficient protection given the medical nature of the decision to be made. KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court with respect to Part II, and the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, III, IV, and V, in which REHNQUIST, C. STEVENS, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which BRENNAN and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. From 1976 to 1980, he was incarcerated at the Washington State Penitentiary. As found by the trial court, the effect of these and similar drugs is to alter the chemical balance in the brain, the desired result being that the medication will assist the patient in organizing his or her thought processes and regaining a rational state of mind. Upon his return to prison, respondent was sent to the Special Offender Center (SOC or Center), a 144-bed correctional institute established by the Washington Department of Corrections to diagnose and treat convicted felons with serious mental disorders. The Policy has several substantive and procedural components. In particular, the independence of the decisionmaker is adequately addressed, since none of the hearing committee members may be involved in the inmate's current treatment or diagnosis, and the record is devoid of evidence that staff members lack the necessary independence to provide a full and fair hearing. The provisions mandating notice and the specified hearing rights satisfy the requirement of a meaningful opportunity to be heard, and are not vitiated by prehearing meetings between the committee members and staff absent evidence of resulting bias or that the actual decision is made before the hearing. The central question before us is whether a judicial hearing is required before the State may treat a mentally ill prisoner with antipsychotic drugs against his will. Respondent was paroled in 1980 on the condition that he participate in psychiatric treatment.