ATLANTA (AP) - A federal lawsuit says solitary confinement and harrowing conditions at a Georgia jail result in a substantial risk of serious psychological harm for mentally ill women held there.

The lawsuit says many women locked in the South Fulton Municipal Regional Jail in Union City have psychiatric disabilities and are placed in isolation in "mental health pods," even though prolonged isolation can worsen the symptoms of mental illness.

The lawsuit also says women deemed incompetent to stand trial are denied access to treatment provided to mentally ill men jailed by the county.

The lawsuit against the Fulton County sheriff and jail officials was filed on behalf of the Georgia Advocacy office and two women held in the jail. It seeks class-action status.

The sheriff's office declined comment, citing the pending litigation.

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