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Old 04-22-2002, 06:58 PM
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Post News article: settlement for a family of a mentally ill inmate

Deal Proposed For Inmate's Family
> --------------------
>
> By DWIGHT F. BLINT
> Courant Staff Writer
>
> April 16, 2002
>
> State officials are proposing to pay a multimillion
> dollar settlement to the family of a 21-year-old
> mentally ill inmate who died while being restrained
> in 1999.
>
> The attorney general's office is asking the state
> legislature to approve a $2.5-million expenditure to
> settle with the family of Timothy Perry.
>
> The proposed settlement is before the legislature's
> judiciary committee. It will be the subject of a
> public hearing Monday.
>
> A payment to Perry's family would mark the third
> large settlement the state prison department has
> reached with the family of an inmate.
>
> Last month, the state agreed to pay almost $2
> million to the families of Lawrence Frazier and
> David Tracy. The Frazier family is expected to
> receive about $1.1 million and Tracy's family should
> get about $750,000.
>
> Both men died at Wallens Ridge, a super-maximum
> security penitentiary in Big Stone Gap, Va. Frazier,
> a diabetic, died of heart failure after he was
> strapped down and repeatedly shocked by guards with
> a stun gun. Tracy, who suffered from mental illness,
> had only months remaining on his sentence when he
> hanged himself.
>
> The inmates were two of 500 state inmates sent to
> Virginia in 1999 to ease crowding in Connecticut
> prisons.
>
> State Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said he
> considered the three settlements evidence of the
> state's inability to properly manage its crowded
> prisons.
>
> "There's no cheap way out of it," Lawlor said.
>
> Lawlor said many state leaders have been trying to
> take pressure off the prison system by building more
> facilities or sending inmates out of state. But he
> said the only long-term benefits will come when the
> state becomes more careful about whom it
> incarcerates.
>
> The state Office of Protection and Advocacy for
> Persons with Disabilities last year found that Perry
> should not have been incarcerated.
>
> Perry, who was diagnosed with paranoid
> schizophrenia, was jailed after he assaulted several
> staff members at Cedarcrest Hospital, a state
> psychiatric facility.
>
> Perry died while being restrained two weeks into his
> stay at Hartford Correctional Center. He was placed
> facedown in a hold for an extended period by a
> number of staff members after he became combative
> and began struggling with a correction officer.
> Investigators also found that workers put a towel
> around his head and failed to properly monitor his
> condition.
>
> The state's medical examiner found that Perry died
> or was close to death while being restrained because
> medication that had been injected into him failed to
> circulate through his body.
>
> However, the medical examiner could not conclude how
> Perry died, and no one involved in the incident has
> been criminally charged.
> Copyright 2002, Hartford Courant
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