Report: Too soon for Calif. to control inmate care

By By DON THOMPSON

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal overseer says it's too soon for California to retake control of its prison mental health system, dealing a blow to a proposal made by Gov. Jerry Brown last week.

Special master Matthew Lopes (LOHP'-s) says in a report filed Friday that too many California inmates are still committing suicide and going without treatment for their mental illness.

Brown filed a court motion last week to end a long-running class action lawsuit over substandard treatment in prisons. Lopes advises the federal judges who will rule on it.

The Democratic governor is also seeking to lift a cap on the number of inmates, saying it would be too dangerous to release more prisoners.

Lopes says ending mental health oversight is "not only premature but a needless distraction" from ongoing improvements.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.