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Friday, July 12, 2013

Judge orders investigation of Salinas Valley State Prison psychiatric unit

Monterey HeraldSaying California officials "divorced themselves from reality" when they recently claimed prison mental health care is up to par, a Sacramento judge has ordered the immediate investigation of staffing levels and patient intake practices at Salinas Valley State Prison's psychiatric unit.

Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled Thursday that due to the "urgency of the issues at hand," a federal Special Master is ordered to investigate allegations that numbers of psychiatrists and other mental health staff are at dangerously low levels in the unit, which is operated by the Department of State Hospitals.

He also ordered the Special Master to look into the prison's practice of keeping new patients on "cuff status" of shackles and isolation for up to 10 days before they can take part in regular treatment activities.

Department of State Hospitals officials told the judge during a four-day hearing last month that their agency has never been found by the court to have provided inadequate care to inmate patients — a contention that Karlton said "misses the mark."

He noted that the hospitals department has for years been part of the decades-long mental health lawsuit that brought sweeping overhauls to the California prison system, and in 2006 the court found that the department was "failing to address specific court-ordered remedies" to improve prisoners' psychiatric care.


Anonymous said...

Reality checks are not apart of management's depleted tool chest.

Anonymous said...

Its seems to me that "liberalism" is clearly the "mental disorder" here.

Anonymous said...

Why is it so easy to ignore the glaring fact that management has been consistently dropping the ball? They have been in over their heads seems like forever. Case and point, look at the situation the department has hastily but itself in with the speedy reduction of custody staff. Instead of logically lock stepping down manning with the reduction of the inmate population, custody staff was quickly downsized which created the staffing problems currently being experienced in California's prisons.

Management needs to accept responsibility as readily as they have been to place blame on line staff. What ashame the decision making process cannot be blamed on the worker bees!

Anonymous said...

Donovan state prison allows the e.o.p. inmates to interact with g.p inmates,which has led to many e.o.p. inmates being assaulted,battered,stabbed,and extorted. however officials refuse to follow dept. policy and keep them segregated from general population...

Anonymous said...

The officials actually following department policy, not happening if they can't tweek the policies for their own misguided purposes. Think about it, isn't that why we have a federal reciever running the medical side of the department.