ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Law Firm Sues State of Maryland Over Jailed Mentally Ill Defendants

Updated on June 16, 2016

Maryland Accused of Civil Rights Violation Against Mentally Ill

One of Washington’s biggest law firms is seeking class action status for a lawsuit it filed recently that would force the state of Maryland to transfer mentally-ill defendants from jail to medical treatment facilities.

The pro bono lawsuit filed by Venable is supported by Maryland’s Office of the Public Defender, which represents the four inmates named as plaintiffs, according to a report by The Legal Forum (

Three of them are charged with attempted murder and the other with arson. All four of them were declared mentally-incompetent by court order after a judge determined they were a threat to themselves or others.

They were supposed to be incarcerated at the Clifton T. Perkins maximum security forensic hospital in Howard County.

However, overcrowding at state mental hospitals compelled the courts to keep them and 81 other defendants declared mentally incompetent in jails instead.

Defense attorneys say using jails for mentally ill persons, many of whom suffer from paranoia, could worsen their conditions. In addition, they could be ridiculed and tormented by other inmates.

The Venable lawsuit names the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DMMH) and its secretary, Van T. Mitchell, as defendants. Officials from the department have said previously they lack the funding and staff to handle all the state’s mentally ill criminal defendants.

The Venable lawsuit says DMMH failed in its clear legal obligation to provide treatment for mentally incompetent inmates.

Rather than complying with these court orders, the lawsuit says, DHMH requires mentally ill persons to languish unlawfully in jail or detention facilities.

In a few isolated cases, DMMH officials succeeded in finding space in a DHMH facility for preferred patients but neglected many others, the complaint says.

The Venable attorneys are trying to find other cases in Maryland of mentally ill defendants who remain in jail.

Lawsuit accuses state of Maryland of illegally jailing mentally ill persons

Lawsuit accuses state of Maryland of illegally jailing mentally ill persons.
Lawsuit accuses state of Maryland of illegally jailing mentally ill persons.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)