This is a must-read series.
As he sits today in Supermax, Jack Powers had amputated his fingers, a testicle, his scrotum and his earlobes, has cut his Achilles tendon, and had tried several times to kill himself. Those tattoos you see? Powers had none until 2009, when he started mutilating with a razor and carbon paper. He did much of this — including biting off his pinkie and cutting skin off his face — in the Control Unit at Supermax while prison officials consistently refused to treat his diagnosed mental illness. Rules are rules, prison officials told him, and no prisoners in that unit were to be given psychotropic medicine no matter how badly they needed it.
This is the first in a three-part series about the new class-action lawsuit filed Monday against the Bureau of Prison and the officials who run ADX-Florence, the so-called “Supermax” facility that houses some of the nation’s most dangerous criminals. The second part will focus on the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit. The third part will focus upon some of the many legal issues involved in the litigation.