Sacramento, CA — California will spend more than $600 million to improve conditions for mentally ill inmates, under an agreement reached in an 11-year-old class action lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton approved the plan by Governor Schwarzenegger´s administration on Thursday. The money will be used to add 695 beds at mental health facilities being built at prisons.
Karlton decried the state´s lack of progress in properly treating mentally ill prisoners. He said bringing treatment to acceptable levels will ultimately be “horrifically expensive.”
Prison officials said the spiraling inmate population means they have no space to house or treat mentally ill inmates.