Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Supreme Court Rules Prison Overcrowding Dangerous to Health

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the extreme overcrowding in California prisons is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment and ordered the state to reduce its prison population by 30,000 in the next two years. Among prisoners who originally brought the suit was a group of mentally ill inmates who charged that the overcrowding prevented them from receiving needed mental health treatment. APA had filed an amicus brief in the case maintaining that the extreme overcrowding negatively affected the quantity and quality of mental health care available to inmates and that the harsh conditions themselves contributed to a deterioration of inmates' mental health.

For more information about this case see Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/45/24/20.full.


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