Prison Mental Health Deadline Approaches

Aug 29, 2017

The deadline is looming for Alabama’s correctional officials to tell a federal judge how they plan to overhaul mental health care in state prisons.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has scheduled a status conference for September 7 to get an update on the mediation between the state of Alabama and lawyers representing Alabama inmates.

Back in June, Thompson ordered the state to improve conditions, after ruling that the current level of psychiatric care offered to state inmates is so “horrendously inadequate” that it violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Thompson had ordered the two sides to mediate until September 1, which is Friday. Last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the state is currently in discussions about hiring more mental health and correctional staff, and building new prison facilities. Ivey met with lawmakers last week to discuss possible proposals.