RBGG’s Jane Kahn, one of the firm’s lawyers representing the class of prisoners with mental illness in Coleman v. Brown, was quoted by KPCC and KQED public radio in a story that aired on March 26, 2013 in advance of a federal court hearing in Sacramento on March 27.  The piece titled California to seek return of sole control over mental health care at prisons discusses the conditions that might contribute to the  high suicide rate in California prisons, which has gone up in recent years and is higher than the national average.  The excerpt below includes quotes from Kahn:

“They’re often times first stripped, and left just in their boxers,” said Jane Kahn, a lawyer who represent inmates in lawsuits against the prison system. She points to the report of Lindsay Hayes, an expert hired by the state. Hayes called this holding cell procedure “punitive” and “anti-therapeutic.  “The biggest concern is that prisoners will not report that they’re feeling suicidal if they’re held in these kind of settings. We think it’s one of the many factors that explains this high rate of suicide within our system,” said Kahn . . . .The suicide rate in California’s prisons has gone up in recent years, and over the past 14 years an average of 31 prisoners a year have killed themselves – a rate higher than the national averages for state and federal prisons. . . .”The rate is high, but what’s more shocking is that these suicides show us how bad the care is,” said Kahn.”