NC mentally ill inmate died of thirst after 35 days in solitary confinement


On September 26th, 2014, the AP wrote about the death of a North Carolina inmate with mental illness, who died of thirst while being held in solitary confinement for 35 days.  the man had been  cited twice for “flooding his cell”, according to prison records.

An autopsy released earlier this week says the 54-year-old inmate, who had schizophrenia, died of dehydration. The report also said he was receiving no treatment for the symptoms of his mental illness.

Inmate Michael Anthony Kerr was found unresponsive in the back of a van March 12 after being driven three hours from Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville to a mental hospital at Central Prison in Raleigh.

A written policy at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety allows prison staff to turn off the water to an inmate’s sink and toilet as punishment for the “misuse of plumbing facilities.”

State prison officials refused to answer questions about whether water to Kerr’s cell was cut off in the days before his death.