Suit challenges confinement law for mentally ill

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed against the state alleges that three people locked up in state mental hospitals after being found not guilty of crimes by reason of insanity are being treated like prisoners instead of patients.

The suit, filed Wednesday, wants the court to overturn a 2010 law that restricts outings for so-called forensic patients, who are confined after an insanity acquittal or for evaluation or treatment of mental illness before trial.

The News Tribune of Tacoma also reports (http://bit.ly/Qn5DY7) that the suit challenges another law creating an advisory panel to review releases, along with practices of the state Department of Social and Health Services, including shackling.

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