RBGG’s Mike Bien provided commentary for an AP article on February 15, 2013, California opens $24M prison mental health center in Vacaville, which is excerpted below:
“Michael Bien, the lead attorney representing the welfare of mentally ill inmates, praised the department for opening what he said was a badly needed facility. But said the state did so only because the judge demanded it and after numerous delays.
Other prisons also need treatment facilities but are not getting them, showing the need for continued court oversight, Bien said.
‘The fact that they’re crowing about it is kind of silly,’ he said. ‘Let’s see them do something without court order rather than resisting it every step of the way.’
The special master, Matthew Lopes, and attorneys representing inmates say there still are too many suicides and treatment delays to give authority for mental health treatment back to the state.”