Lawsuit seeks to remove Allegheny County Jail inmate from solitary
Lawyers for a 20-year-old Pittsburgh woman are asking a federal judge to force Allegheny County Jail officials to remove her from solitary confinement, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Kimberly Andrews is awaiting a bench trial later this month on two misdemeanor charges of theft and access device fraud, court records show.
The lawsuit said Andrews has been in Allegheny County Jail since Feb. 8 when she was extradited from Georgia to face charges in three separate cases: a summary charge of disorderly conduct; theft and fraud misdemeanors; and misdemeanor resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
The summary charge was withdrawn, and Andrews pleaded guilty to resisting arrest. She was sentenced to 30 to 60 days in jail on March 11, court records show. Her trial for theft and fraud is scheduled for June 20.
The lawsuit alleged a range of abuses, chief among them that she was placed in solitary confinement for 70 days despite mental health concerns and numerous suicide attempts.
Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs declined comment, citing the pending litigation.
Andrews suffers from bipolar and other disorders, according to the lawsuit, and solitary confinement leaves inmates alone in a cell for 23 hours per day.
The lawsuit alleges staff indifference to Andrews’ requests for mental health treatment, including one alleged instance in which she claimed a corrections officer encouraged her to kill herself.
The lawsuit names Warden Orlando Harper, Chief Deputy Wardens David Zetwo and Laura Williams, Deputy Warden Jason Beasom and a correctional officer identified only as Rhodes.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and a restraining order keeping Andrews from solitary confinement, as well as attorneys fees.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .