September 23, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A federal overseer says it's too soon for California to retake control of its prison mental health system, dealing a blow to a proposal made by Gov. Jerry Brown last week.
Special master Matthew Lopes says in a report filed Friday that too many California inmates are still committing suicide and going without treatment for their mental illness.
Brown filed a court motion last week to end a long-running class action lawsuit over substandard treatment in prisons. Lopes advises the federal judges who will rule on it.
The Democratic governor is also seeking to lift a cap on the number of inmates, saying it would be too dangerous to release more prisoners.
Lopes says ending mental health oversight is "not only premature but a needless distraction" from ongoing improvements.
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