Prisoners aren’t getting adequate mental health care: report

Prisoners aren’t getting adequate mental health care: report

California state prisoners do not have access to adequate mental health care even as around a third of the adult prisoners in the state are suffering from some kind of mental illness.

According to a fresh report filed in a federal court by special master Matthew Lopes, many patients, who were suggested medication instead of counseling, returned to jail too soon and seldom received personalized psychiatric therapy.

In the report, Matthew added, "Patients also complained of having no one to talk to when they were having difficulties. There is a need for the development of a consistent, more therapeutically oriented and less punitively oriented system that can be applied across all six programs."

He cautioned that the mental health care being provided to inmates was rote than truly responsive; and stressed that the psychiatric facilities should develop a consistent, therapeutically oriented and less punitively oriented method to help mentally ill inmates.

However, he acknowledged that all of the state's six treatment centers were making efforts to make improvements. The plan to improve care includes: Increasing the health care workforce in county jails; and boosting training for jail staff.

In June last year, U. S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton Karlton had ordered authorities to submit a report on prison health care, after ruling that inmates were not being provided adequate access to mental health care. Nearly 30 per cent of 133,000 adult prisoners in the state have some sort of mental illness.

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