Prison system: Alabama making progress in mental health

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama prison officials told a federal judge they are making “substantial progress” in increasing mental health staff and should not be found in contempt of court.

In a Friday court filing, lawyers for the Alabama Department of Corrections said the state “has made in good faith all reasonable efforts” to comply with a federal judge’s order to boost staffing levels.

Attorneys for the inmates are asking the judge to find the prison system in contempt. Lawyers said the prison system is “woefully short” of required staffing levels.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson last year ruled that prison psychiatric care was “horrendously inadequate” and created unconstitutional conditions.

Thompson has scheduled a Jan. 7 hearing on the contempt request.

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