Inmates claim Indiana prison kept them in cruel conditions

BUNKER HILL, Ind. (AP) — Six inmates at an Indiana prison are alleging in lawsuits that they were kept in near-total darkness for weeks at a time and suffered electric shocks from exposed wires.

The lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana claim the conditions at the maximum-security Miami Correctional Facility near Peru amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

The lawsuits claim the six men were held in isolation cells that had no lights and that some of them suffered cuts from broken window glass and were shocked by dangling wires from a broken light fixture while trying to make their way around in the dark.

ACLU of Indiana attorney Ken Falk called the prison’s action “torture.”

Inmate Jeremy Blanchard’s lawsuit filed in March said he was kept in nearly total darkness for about a month last year and that the conditions led to hallucinations and severe anxiety. Attorneys for the state have denied the allegations and asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

The other five lawsuits were filed this month. A Department of Correction spokeswoman declined to comment on those cases.