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September 3, 2010 > Judge pans Calif care of mentally disabled inmates

Judge pans Calif care of mentally disabled inmates

By Don Thompson, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 27 - A federal judge says California's prison system still does a poor job of identifying and caring for developmentally disabled inmates, nine years after the state agreed to improve services.

A preliminary ruling dated Thursday from U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer rejects a bid by corrections officials to end court oversight of the 2001 settlement.

Breyer says in his 112-page findings that although as many as 4 percent of inmates are estimated to be developmentally disabled, the prison system has identified and treats less than 1 percent of the population.

A court expert says mentally disabled inmates remain vulnerable to physical, sexual and verbal abuse, exploitation, theft, and harassment.

Breyer gave attorneys 12 days to file objections before he finalizes his findings.

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