Judge: Psychiatric care unconstitutional in Alabama prisons

[CBS file photo]

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge says Alabama is failing to provide constitutionally adequate psychiatric care for state inmates.

A 302-page decision released Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson comes in a lawsuit over the state’s treatment of prisoners with mental problems. Thompson calls the system “horrendously inadequate” and is ordering a new round of meetings to discuss a remedy.

The state has denied inmates receive inadequate mental health treatment, and it had no immediate comment on the ruling.

Lawyers for inmates say they’re reviewing the decision and will comment later.

Thompson presided over a trial focusing on the psychiatric treatment of troubled inmates in Alabama prisons. One of the inmate witnesses killed himself days after testifying, prompting the state to agree to new suicide prevention methods while the trial continued.

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