AP — Although California has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to improve psychiatric treatment for convicts, the biggest mental health unit in the state prison system for high security inmates remains in disarray, according to a court-appointed investigator and others familiar with the facility.
State officials acknowledge high turnover at the approximately 350-bed mental health unit at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. But they dispute inmates are receiving inadequate care.
Still, a court-appointed "special master" says that the departure of psychiatrists who were fired or quit has left the unit seriously understaffed, with doctors handling twice their case loads of the previous year.
The dispute arises out of a 32-year-old class action lawsuit filed by inmates.