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Mother of Bridgewater patient files suit over use of seclusion and physical restraint.

Joanne Minich with her son, Peter, about 2009, in California.
Joanne Minich with her son, Peter, about 2009, in California. Minich family

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The mother of a mentally ill Brookline man who has been held at Bridgewater State Hospital for more than a year on Monday will file a lawsuit accusing prison officials of illegally keeping her son in seclusion or strapped to a bed for days and even weeks on end, according to the mother’s lawyer. In the lawsuit, Joanne Minich says that her son Peter’s mental health is rapidly declining because prison administrators and clinicians have kept him alone in a small cell for about 70 percent of the time he has been held at Bridgewater. “Mr. Minich’s psychological condition has substantially deteriorated as a result of his prolonged isolation and placement in a correction facility,” according to the lawsuit. The Minich lawsuit comes in the wake of an uproar over the death of Bridgewater inmate Joshua K. Messier, who was killed while guards were placing him in restraints.

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