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Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Oct;62(10):1121-3. doi: 10.1176/

Lost in the crowd: prison mental health care, overcrowding, and the courts.

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  • 1Departmentof Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Skyrocketing inmate populations have put considerable pressure on prison mental health services. In California, prison populations have exceeded 200% of capacity, and litigation to rectify constitutionally inadequate care has been under way for more than two decades. After the failure of other remedies, a federal court ordered the state to reduce its inmate population to 137.5% of capacity in two years. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the order, although it signaled that California could obtain more time to comply. Other states now are on notice that the justices will not permit grossly inadequate treatment conditions to continue indefinitely.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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