US Judge Finds California in Contempt Over Prison Mental Health Staffing

A federal judge has found California prison officials in contempt for inadequate mental health staffing, ordering fines of $112 million. The fines are due to the state’s failure to hire enough mental health professionals despite court orders. Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a budget deficit and plans to appeal the ruling. The lack of mental health care for incarcerated individuals has been ongoing for decades, with the judge stressing the urgent need for improvement. The state has also failed to comply with court-ordered suicide prevention measures. The ruling comes amid ongoing efforts to improve mental health treatment statewide.

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