Court considers Calif. prison mental health care

4:21 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - A federal judge says attorneys for the state of California may have violated ethics laws when they interviewed mentally ill inmates as part of a lawsuit over Gov. Jerry Brown's push to regain state control of inmate mental health care.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton made the comments Wednesday as arguments began in the lawsuit dealing with California's level of care for mentally ill inmates.

Lawyers for the state say after 18 years of federal oversight and billions of dollars in spending, the care now meets the requirements of the U.S. Constitution. Attorneys for inmates contend more improvement is needed.

While preparing their case, attorneys for the state interviewed mentally ill prisoners.

Karlton said inmate lawyers might not have been properly notified about the interviews, but he may allow the state reports because the case is so important.

The Associated Press

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