U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes came to the rescue of a 17-year-old mentally ill boy who was kept in solitary confinement for nearly 7 months at the Hudson Correctional Facility.
The boy, who the court identified as E.L. was subjected to long periods of deprivation from water, food, and social interaction for as long as 10 straight days before authorities stepped in.
Court papers claim that E.L. was held alone in an 8 by 10-foot cell for 20 hours a day and the hours he was allowed out of the cell he spent handcuffed in a recreational outdoor cell no matter the weather.
E.L.'s mother, Natalya Paykina brought the harsh treatment of her son up to officials at the prison but saw no cooperation until she hired a lawyer and the case was put in front of Judge Sannes.
A prison spokesperson claimed the boy was placed in solitary because of his dangerous behavior and bouts of self-mutilation.
Sannes, who was quoted in the New York Daily News said, "E.L.'s behavior went through ebbs and flows, that fact alone does not contradict the evidence of imminent psychological damage and the worsening of symptoms E.L. faces by additional confinement."
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