Today's Los Angeles Times reports, "San Quentin plans psychiatric hospital for death row inmates," by Paige St. John.
Under court pressure to improve psychiatric care for deeply disturbed death row inmates, state officials are moving quickly to open a 40-bed hospital at San Quentin prison to house them.
The court-appointed monitor of mental health care in California's prison system reported to judges Tuesday that about three dozen men on death row are so mentally ill that they require inpatient care, with 24-hour nursing.
For now, they are being treated in their cells, but the state plans to have a hospital setting ready for them by November, according to documents filed Tuesday in federal court.
In December, after weeks of courtroom testimony on the treatment of about 10 unidentified death row prisoners, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ordered the state to provide condemned inmates access to inpatient psychiatric care. The court files show negotiations and planning began almost immediately.
Karlton also ordered mental health screenings of all 720 condemned men at San Quentin. Those evaluations concluded in late May with the identification of 37 condemned men for admission to the psychiatric unit.
AP coverage is, "California plans death row mental health unit," by Don Thompson. It's via San Diego Source.
Responding to a federal court order, California prison officials plan to build a mental health unit for condemned inmates at San Quentin State Prison, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
The planned construction responds to a judge's finding in December that mentally ill inmates on death row lack proper treatment.
The court-appointed special master who oversees prison mental health care said in a 72-page report that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation informed him earlier this month that it would create a 40-bed inpatient mental health program for inmates awaiting execution, to be known as the San Quentin Psychiatric Inpatient Program.