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Friday, July 26, 2013

Mental health center at California Men's Colony to open in August

The TribuneA $23 million mental health facility at the California Men’s Colony is expected to open in August to fulfill a federal mandate calling for improved care of the incarcerated mentally ill.

The licensed 50-bed correctional treatment center will provide temporary care for inmates suffering a mental health crisis.

Inmates from throughout the state who are suicidal or a threat to others will be transferred and cared for in the new facility by a team of nurses, psychiatric technicians and doctors. Correctional officers will maintain the security of the building.

“When an inmate is deemed to be in crisis, they are a danger to everyone, including themselves,” said Lt. Frank Perez, CMC spokesman.

The two-story 45,000-square-foot building, located at the south end of the prison’s East facility, includes intake holding rooms, medical evaluation offices, two cell blocks, a pharmacy, outdoor recreation cells and administrative offices. Two hundred new employees will be needed to staff the 24-hour facility.

Special features include a padded room used for inmates deemed a danger to themselves and two pressurized rooms for inmates with contagious airborne illnesses such as tuberculosis. continue reading...

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