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Federal Judges Pledge Extraordinary Cooperation In Inmate Care

Sacramento, CA — Federal judges are pledging extraordinary cooperation in quickly reforming the way California state prisons care for inmates´ mental and physical well-being.

Their urgency is driven by dying inmates: one a week on average from medical neglect, a record number from suicides last year.

A receiver appointed by a San Francisco judge to oversee prison health care will meet monthly with a special master named by a Sacramento judge to monitor mental health treatment.

The judges say they may involve a third judge who is overseeing a third class-action inmate lawsuit over dental care.

The judges say they are publicly pledging cooperation because their appointments of twin overseers had sown bureaucratic confusion, slowing the very reforms they had hoped to speed up.