Politics

Report Finds It’s Too Soon For California To Control Inmate Care

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Prison Inmates

Inmates at Chino State Prison sit inside a metal cage in the hallway on December 10, 2010. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO (CBS) – 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 said 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.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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