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Judge: It's State's Responsibility to Reform Inmate Mental Health Care

Judge: It's State's Responsibility to Reform Inmate Mental Health Care

A federal judge says that California prisons are not providing adequate treatment for mentally ill inmates on death row, but the judge is leaving it up to the state to figure out a solution.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton wants California officials to work with the court-appointed receiver, Clark Kelso, to oversee prison reform in an effort to improve mental health care for those on death row.

The judge issued that order Tuesday, which requires the California Department of Corrections to find a way of creating a specialized in-patient psychiatric treatment facility at San Quentin State Prison or some other prison.

A spokesman for the Corrections Department said officials are reviewing the order, while an attorney who represents the welfare of mentally ill inmates called the judge's ruling "a very significant victory.''

 

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