Judge: Ind. 'indifferent' to mentally ill inmates

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge says Indiana has been "deliberately indifferent" to the plight of mentally ill inmates in its state prisons, who amount to nearly a quarter of the system's population.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that the Indiana Department of Correction doesn't provide adequate treatment for mentally ill prisoners in violation of their constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment.

The 37-page opinion says the state does monitor mentally ill prisoners, but it doesn't do a good job of providing care for them even though it knows some of them are at high risk of suicide.

Lawyers for both sides are supposed to meet within 45 days to discuss how to correct the problem.

Attorneys for the state didn't immediately return phone calls seeking comment Wednesday.

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