Wisconsin to improve mental health care at prison

MILWAUKEE – Wisconsin officials say they will make wide-ranging improvements in mental health care for women held at the Taycheedah Correctional Institution.

The state had faced a federal lawsuit over conditions at the prison where federal investigators found mentally ill inmates locked in isolation cells and given psychotropic drugs without a doctor’s supervision.

But a 34-page agreement released Friday says federal officials will hold off on the lawsuit and give the state four years to make changes.

Wisconsin Department of Corrections spokesman John Dipko says some improvements have already been made, including hiring more staff, adding programs and planning for a new 45-bed care wing.

The state agreed last month to pay $635,000 to the family of an 18-year-old inmate who committed suicide in 2005 after reportedly pleaded for psychiatric help for days.
source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-taycheedah,0,174787.story

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