On June 16, 2009 U.S. District Court Judge Karlton issued a significant order which will require the State of California to rapidly construct and staff additional inpatient beds for the most seriously ill of the mentally ill prisoners in the state.

At the same time the judge rejected as inadequate the State’s long term bed plan and ordered the California Department of Mental Health to increase beds for mentally ill prisoners at Atascadero State Hospital and begin the process of using empty beds at Coalinga State Hospital.  Managing partner Michael Bien, who leads the Rosen Bien & Galvan team representing the prisoners on the case, said in an interview on KPCC radio in Los Angeles that the judge’s order forces the state to break ground on new clinical facilities:  “They’re going to have to actually build them, staff them, and operate them.  And we look forward to the relief that they’ll bring our clients even if it is an incommplete remedy for what’s needed.”