Iowa girls sue over alleged abuse at Wisconsin youth prison

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Two Iowa teenagers have filed federal lawsuits alleging they were placed in solitary confinement for months at Wisconsin's troubled youth prison even after they both tried to kill themselves.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports one of the girls alleges a guard helped her hurt herself after she became suicidal in solitary by walking on top of her cot after she placed her head beneath it.

The lawsuits are the fourth and fifth lawsuits filed in federal court this year alleging staff at the prison in Irma have been placing inmates in solitary too often and using excessive pepper spray.

A judge earlier this year ordered prison staff to dramatically reduce the use of solitary confinement.

Department of Corrections spokesman Tristan Cook says the agency is reviewing the new lawsuits.

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