Alabama's prison system is facing a hearing on how it provides mental health services to inmates.
Al.com reports U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has ordered a hearing in Montgomery later today on why the Alabama Department of Corrections should not be held in contempt of court for failing to meet deadlines for increasing mental health staffing.
Thompson ruled last year that mental health care in Alabama prisons was "horrendously inadequate" and violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
Thompson issued an order in February setting out deadlines in May, June and July for increasing mental health staff in Alabama's prisons.
Lawyers for the state say their new prison health care contractor, Wexford Health Sources, Inc., has worked extensively to meet the goals and has made substantial progress.