A new trial is underway this October in federal court in Sacramento in Coleman v. Brown – the long-running class action on behalf of prisoners with mental illness that led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2011 that California must reduce prison overcrowding to address constitutional violations and inhumane treatment of the mentally ill in California’s prisons. Earlier this year, the court denied the State’s motion to terminate the case, concluding that conditions remain intolerably dangerous for mentally ill prisoners.
There has been extensive national media coverage of the case over the past week with special focus on video footage showing prisoners in mental health crises being subjected to excessive use of force, including massive overuse of chemical agents. RBGG lawyers, who have served as lead counsel for plaintiffs for over 20 years, are seeking court orders limiting the use of force and punishment against prisoners with mental illness. Selected media coverage linked below.
Fight over inmate mental health care in California sharpens, Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2013
Dramatic videos open latest salvo in California prison battle, Sacramento Bee, October 1, 2013
Graphic video at center of prison mental health trial, KQED California Report, October 1, 2013
‘Upsetting’ videos of mentally ill prisoners’ treatment shown in open court, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2013
Judge okays videos of mentally ill inmates, Associated Press, September 25, 2013