CA Gets April Date On Prison Overcrowding, Will Limit Some Solitary Time


Federal judges considering California's request for more time to reduce prison crowding asked the state in turn to limit how long some mentally ill prisoners spend in solitary confinement, reports the Los Angeles Times. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton accepted a state offer to limit the time severely mentally ill prisoners who have committed no rules violations can be held in isolation to 30 days. Hours later, he and the other two judges pushed the state’s deadline to reduce crowding to April 18. Karlton is holding hearings on the treatment of mentally ill inmates and also sits on the federal three-judge panel that ordered California to reduce prison overcrowding. California has been ordered to remove 7,000 inmates from state prisons, reductions that judges say are needed to remedy unconstitutionally dangerous conditions, including inadequate medical and mental health care. Karlton said he was concerned about 230 mentally ill prisoners housed in isolation cells, though they have committed no infraction.

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