Sacramento, CA -The Associated Press reports a federal judge has rejected Governor Jerry Brown’s push to regain state control of prison mental health facilities. The system has been under federal oversight for 18 years.
Lawyers for the state argued that California now provides a constitutional level of care to its 32,000 mentally ill prison inmates. They also pointed out that California has spent more than $1 billion to build mental health facilities and raise salaries for mental health workers. Inmates’ attorneys say more facilities are needed and more must be done to reduce an inmate suicide rate that exceeds the national average.
The judge ruled the state failed to prove it is providing the required level of care. The state plans to appeal the ruling.