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ACLU sues Allegheny County jail over pregnant women in solitary

| Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, 2:45 p.m.
Allegheny County Jail
Allegheny County Jail

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued Pennsylvania's second-largest county for putting pregnant inmates in solitary confinement in its jail.

Allegheny County officials declined comment on the federal lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of five pregnant women who are in the Pittsburgh jail, were recently there, or are at risk for going to jail. Online court records show at least three of the pregnant women have recent drug-related offenses or probation violations for drug-related crimes.

The ACLU says solitary confinement isn't always a location at the jail, but is sometimes a condition of incarceration. Nonetheless, “solitary” inmates are confined to cells nearly all day, shower infrequently and are denied other privileges.

The lawsuit seeks to end the practice and bolster the diets of pregnant inmates, who allege they're often hungry, too.

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