$7 million settlement over Delco inmate's suicide

Friday, 10 November 2017, 11:25:10 AM. An Upper Darby woman plagued by mental illness hung herself at the long-troubled George W. Hill Correctional Facility in 2015.
Janene Wallace’s final 52 days on Earth played out in the same torturous loop. Lost in the grip of depression and paranoia, Wallace, 35, spent 23 hours a day locked in solitary confinement at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County, where she was being held in 2015 on a probation violation. As Wallace’s condition deteriorated, a guard at the prison allegedly taunted the Upper Darby woman and encouraged her to kill herself. On May 26, Wallace hanged herself with a bra she tied to an air vent in her cell. That appalling  yet familiar  narrative formed the foundation of a lawsuit attorneys David Inscho and Shanin Specter filed two years ago on behalf of Wallace’s estate against Community Education Centers, a for-profit prison company that ran Hill at the time. The lawsuit was recently settled for $7 million, Inscho and Specter announced Thursday. Inscho said Wallace’s mother, Susanne, reached out to him to learn more about her daughter’s death. Wallace had no history of violence or misbehavior at Hill, but was denied basic medical care, he said. “What struck me was that Susanne wanted answers that no one in Delaware County or at the prison would tell her,” he said. “Janene’s greatest crime was having a mental illness.” Inscho said Wallace was one of about 700 inmates at Hill who have mental illnesses. Those in solitary confinement are supposed to have daily medical checks, psychiatric evaluations after 30 days, and be evaluated by security personnel...Read more
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