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Judge criticizes 2nd Calif agency in prison battle

Posted: July 11, 2013 2:47 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2013 2:47 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge is increasing his oversight of California's troubled prison system after finding that a second state agency shares the blame with corrections officials for providing poor care to mentally ill inmates.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton on Thursday ordered his court-appointed special master to review practices at prison mental health facilities operated by the Department of State Hospitals.

The judge says more orders could follow depending on what the special master uncovers.

The department is responsible for treating inmates at some of California's 33 adult prisons, including one in Soledad that inmate advocates say is poorly staffed and provides substandard care.

Witnesses at a hearing last month testified that officials at Salinas Valley State Prison should have done more to prevent the deaths of two inmates.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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