Doctors at California Medical Facility (CMF) in Vacaville, Calif., see inmates in a modern medical clinic.
California's new prisons chief says the new inmate mental health facility in Vacaville is reason to end nearly two decades of federal oversight of psychiatric care at the state’s correctional system.
Corrections Secretary Jeff Beard made his comments during a media tour of the $24 million California Medical Facility that can povide intensive outpatient mental health therapy for 600 inmates.
“I’ve been around this system and visited over 20 institutions," he said. "I can assure you there is not a deliberate indifference to the needs (of inmates).”
“People are being identified, people are being properly placed, and people are given the level of care that they need,” said Beard.
Poor care led to federal court action
In 1995, a federal judge agreed with inmates in a class action lawsuit that California's correctional system failed to provide adequate medical care to prisoners, including those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and other severe mental illnesses.
Voters in the San Fernando Valley received Jan Perry mailers attacking Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. But, Latino voters got ads in support of the mayor. The Perry campaign calls it politics 101.
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Today is Friday, Feb. 15 and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
How does Jan Perry feel about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa? Well, the answer will depend on who you are, according to the Los Angeles Times. Conservative voters in the San Fernando Valley received mailers attacking the mayor, while Latino voters got mailers that appear more supportive of Villaraigosa. "This is not rocket science. This is campaign 101," a campaign consultant told The Times.
The city of Los Angeles has an $85 million tab for police overtime and when officers burn off the time, it is the equivalent of having 400 to 700 cops off the street, reports the Daily News. To address the issue, Jan Perry wants to change the structure of officers' schedules, while Eric Garcetti wants to use new revenues to pay for overtime.
NBA Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson is delivering one more assist — an endorsement of Mike Feuer in his campaign for city attorney.
The basketball great recorded a radio ad for Feuer, who is running against incumbent City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, attorney Greg Smith and attorney Noel Weiss. The spot will air on KHLH 102.3 FM and KHHT 92.3 FM.
“Mike Feuer will crack down on crime with neighborhood prosecutors, who’ll work with police and local leaders to get gangs and guns off our streets and away from our schools. And he’ll help prevent crime with after-school programs, and gang and drug prevention,” Johnson says in the ad.
The nomination of L.A. Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell (right) to the federal bench has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
California is one step closer to getting a new federal judge. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved the nomination of L.A. County Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell to the federal bench. But there could still be a wait before her nomination is brought up for a full vote.
O’Connell was nominated last November by President Obama to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge. She sailed through her confirmation hearing and now has been approved by the Judiciary Committee. But it could be a while before O’Connell takes her seat on the bench.
University of Richmond Law Professor Carl Tobias says, in the past, consensus nominees were bundled together for a floor vote. That's no linger the case.
"What’s different is — in the Obama administration — Republicans are saying, ‘No, you have to take them one at a time,’" Tobias says. "And so that has really led to this backlog"
There are currently 90 federal judicial vacancies around the country. Since Congress returned to work in January, only one nominee has come up for a vote before the full Senate.
Jason DeFillippo via Flickr
US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced a climate change bill that echoes some of President Obama's policy prescriptions from his State of the Union address.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to take action on climate change. Today, California’s junior U.S. Senator outlined her bill to tax carbon emissions and invest in saving energy. It won't be easy to rally GOP support for the measure.
The legislation would create a $20-per-ton fee on the carbon top polluters discharge. The federal government would spend part of the estimated $1.2 trillion it generates over a decade to weatherize homes and to triple the budget for energy research. Republican support is unlikely - but the climate change bill’s co-sponsor, Democrat Barbara Boxer, says it took more than 10 years to pass the federal Clean Air Act. "We don’t give up," she says, "and we won’t give up because you could pull the covers over your head and say this isn’t happening, but Mother Nature is proving to us constantly that it is happening."