Lawsuit against WA Department of Corrections says drug tests used are ‘cheap and unreliable’

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A class action lawsuit was launched against the Washington State Department of Corrections over the use of faulty drug tests on items inside the inmate’s cell.

The lawsuit filed by Columbia Legal Services claims the colorimetric test kits return presumptive positive results on incoming mail and other items in prison cells.

When traces of drugs are found on items, inmates can face solitary confinement, extended prison time, or loss of visitation or communication with family members.

One inmate claims he was put into solitary confinement for five months after a Sudoku puzzle showed traces of marijuana.

The lawsuit says the test kits are “cheap and unreliable.”

The manufacturer says they’re designed to be initial screens only.

Other states have banned the use of the same test kits.

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