A Daily Journal article on February 7, 2013, “State lashes out in prison mental health filing” relates how the State of California is still fighting the Supreme Court ruling that the state must reduce prison overcrowding to address constitutionally inadequate health and mental health systems in California prisons.  The latest filings arose in the context of a court order that the state account for the return of almost 9,000 prisoners who are currently being housed out-of-state

According to the DJ article: “In 2009, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel found that the medical and mental health system in California prisons was unconstitutional due to overcrowding. The Supreme Court, in a 2011 ruling, affirmed the three-judge panel’s decision. Plata v. Brown, 131 U.S. 1910 (2011). The suit in question, Coleman v. Brown, CV90-520 (C.D. Cal., filed April 23, 1990), is the mental-health portion of the prison-overcrowding case.”

After recounting the State’s explanation that none of the returning prisoners would require mental health care, the article concluded:

“Ernest J. Galvan, an attorney for the prisoners and partner at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, disagreed with that interpretation, saying the return of out-of-state prisoners will necessarily impact prison care. ‘Everybody uses medical and mental health resources,’ he said, adding that ‘a certain percentage of the population are going to develop serious medical and mental conditions, so it’s highly relevant if they’re going to jam more people in there.’

Galvan also pointed to the 2011 Supreme Court ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, which said that ‘all prisoners in California are at risk so long as the State continues to provide inadequate care.’ ‘They are re-hashing stuff they already lost in the Supreme Court,’ Galvan said. ‘I think that when you sign on to a case, you should read the file and see what already happened…Maybe not to read the whole file, but when the Supreme Court of the United States says something, I think you should read that part.'”