Lousiana: Juvenile offender with mental illness tried as an adult, sent to solitary confinement on death row.

Placing inmates in solitary confinement for their physical and/or mental safety is a form of medical incarceration. It’s extremely counter-productive due to the astronomical exacerbation of mental illness done by solitary, especially for youth. According to reporting by eyewitness investigator Mike Perlstein, Alonzo Defillo Jr. ended up on death row at the nation’s bloodiest prison, the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, because the state had nowhere else to house him.

“Alonzo Defillo Jr. and three other juveniles were accused in a string of carjackings and robberies in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. Prosecutors decided to try all of the kids as adults. Defillo was 15.”

“As soon as the juveniles were sent to Dixon Correctional Center, Defillo’s situation was precarious. Coming from a family of cops, he became a target of other inmates, his family said.

“Alonzo Jr. has been beaten, he’s been stabbed, he has been pepper-sprayed, he’s been thrown in a cell with no clothes on. They beat him so bad he lost hearing in this ear,” his uncle, Marlon Defillo, said.

Alonzo Jr.’s family and attorneys say the prison’s answer was to move him to solitary confinement.

LCCR Co-Director Aaron Clark-Rizzio said, “When you put a vulnerable child or someone dealing with mental health issues in that environment, it’s a form of torture.”

Read the full article here.


Abolish Prisons

Mental Health Courts

Mental health courts (MHCs) are specialized programs designed to address the legal issues and treatment needs of individuals with mental health disabilities and substance use

Read More »