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Suit: Jail keeps teens in solitary for months without care, education

One young inmate in solitary confinement at the Palm Beach County jail hallucinated, staring at the blank wall of his cell, thinking he was watching a television show, a federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges. Other juveniles begged deputies for water but were forced to drink the putrid discolored water from the sink attached to their toilet. “I’m not your water boy,” the deputies barked back. If these teens — in isolation for sometimes up to 16 consecutive months — complained, deputies threatened to send them to the mental health ward where they would be stripped naked and left in a freezing cell with only a paper gown that failed to cover their backside. These are just some of the claims made in the class-action lawsuit against Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, the Palm Beach County School Board and others in the sheriff’s department that calls for an end to solitary confinement for inmates under age 18.