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Friday, April 5, 2013

Feds retain control of Calif. prison mental health

KCRA 3A federal judge on Friday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's bid to regain state control of inmates' mental health care, citing systematic failures to reduce prison suicides, provide timely care and hire enough staff.

The decision is a blow to the Democratic governor's attempts to end nearly two decades of expensive federal lawsuits that influence nearly every aspect of California's prison system.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton in Sacramento ruled that the state failed to prove that it is providing the level of care required by the U.S. Constitution for the state's more than 32,000 mentally ill inmates.

"This court finds that ongoing constitutional violations remain in this action and the prospective relief ordered by this court remains necessary to remedy those violations," the judge said in his 68-page decision.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it will appeal the ruling.

"It's unfortunate that the judge didn't give the appropriate weight to reports by national experts who found that CDCR is providing constitutional mental health care to inmates, and in fact, is a model for the nation," Deborah Hoffman, spokeswoman for the agency, said in a statement. "We will appeal this decision and are confident that we will prevail. It's time for this costly and intrusive lawsuit - now in its 23rd year - to come to an end."

The ruling also undermines Brown's efforts to lift a separate court order that otherwise will force the state to reduce its prison population by nearly 10,000 by year's end. continue reading...


Anonymous said...

let's lower the pay of medical so we can hire more, becuase hiring more at their current rate (especially the doctors) costs a lot of money. The bigger question is how do you prevent someone from killing them selves. Oh lets just let them out so they are happy and depressed in prison.

Relavent said...

The feds are playing fast and loose with suicides being their trump card. The feds assessment is an unfair characterization of the department's capability in stopping those truly intent on taking their own lives. The state under the circumstances should ask the feds if they are willing to cough up the funding to assist hiring more custody and medical staffing, needed to watch mental inmates 24/7 because that is the only way to eliminate or reduce suicides to the rate of the feds liking. The feds are being very unreasonable on the issue of suicides.

By the way what is the suicide rate in the federal prisons across the nation, wouldn't that be a fair comparison for the state to use?

Anonymous said...

If cdc-r and the legislators just said "we are no longer going attempt to stop any suicides. There is no law or constitutional guarantee that says they cannot commit suicide." End of problem and end of embezzlement of taxes and end of take-over,,,,,

Anonymous said...

@7:00 am, " what is the suicide rate in the federal prisons". That's a solid question, I would like to see a sise by side comparison on that stat.

Anonymous said...

The federal judge is biased. Its costing CA tons of money. Yap i wonder how federal prison menntal health is faring with state as far as suicide rate is concern.

Anonymous said...

Why dont they place it at the hands of the citizen/voters to decide? Should the state regain control of its prison mental health or a costly taxpayer money under federal control?