Take Two for May 2, 2013

California spends big money on anti-psychotic drugs for inmates

Prison Suicide - 3

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

An inmate is escorted from the new mental health treatment unit at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. The $24 million treatment center for mentally ill inmates opened on Thursday as state corrections officials used the occasion to push for ending federal oversight of that aspect of prison operations. The 44,000-square-foot building includes rooms where inmates will undergo individual, group and recreational outpatient therapy. It will be used to treat inmates who are seriously mentally ill but are able to function without around-the-clock care.

California state prison officials have until midnight tonight to submit a plan to federal officials for prison inmate reduction. It's a fight that California has had with federal officals for years. 

The federal government seized control of California's prisons in 2005, and recently Governor Jerry Brown has been a vocal advocate for returning control of the prisons to California. But the federal government may be facing its own problems related to prisoner care.

Yesterday the Associated Press broke a story on California's prison mental health system that show how California spends more money on anti-psychotic medication than any other state in the nation. Many believe that this shows a tendancy to over-medicate mentally ill prisoners.

With more is Don Thompson, the reporter with the AP


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