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California Prisons Spend Big On Anti-Psychotics For Inmates; Fear Of Lawsuits Cited

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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)

(CBS/AP) – While under federal court oversight, California’s prison mental health system has been spending far more on anti-psychotic drugs than other states with large prison systems.

Figures compiled by The Associated Press through a state Public Records Act request show that California a larger percentage on the medication than other states.

While the amount has been decreasing in recent years, anti-psychotics still account for nearly $1 of every $5 spent on pharmaceuticals purchased for the state prison system.

The spending level has raised concerns about whether patients are receiving proper treatment.

J. Clark Kelso, the court-appointed authority in charge of buying prison pharmaceuticals, concluded that California’s inmate mental health professionals appear to overmedicate their patients.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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