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The U.S. Department of Justice says Pennsylvania corrections officials have stopped regularly placing inmates with serious mental illness and intellectual disabilities in solitary confinement

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — The U.S. Department of Justice says Pennsylvania corrections officials have stopped regularly placing inmates with serious mental illness and intellectual disabilities in solitary confinement.

The Justice Department said Thursday it has closed its civil rights investigation into the state Department of Corrections following what it called "significant improvements" in how it treats mentally ill and disabled prisoners.

The federal probe found that state prisons were using solitary confinement as a means of warehousing mentally ill inmates because of serious deficiencies in the state's mental health program.

Justice officials said the corrections department now provides these inmates with "specialized treatment to meet their individualized needs" and is "headed in the right direction."

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