A new whistleblower complaint from a California Prison psychiatrist sheds light on the inadequate mental health treatment provided for inmates in need.
Psychiatric care improvement for California prisoners has been a combat over the years. A federal judge has decided to take action to safeguard yet another psychiatric who has filed a prison mental healthcare whistleblower complaint.
Complaints Filed On Prison Medical Psychiatric Care
These new allegations have really added to the growing controversy. Prison officials have allegedly been distorting inmates’ mental healthcare data. Judge Kimberley Mueller has considered retaining the appointed court investigator to assess claims of the psychiatrist.
According to an order given by Judge Mueller on November, 7, Dr. Melanie Gonzalez filled a prison mental health state complaint with the receiver appointed by the court. According to sources, Melanie has been working for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) since 2014.
On Wednesday, the court sent the psychiatrist report to state attorneys and inmates’ attorneys. Her complaint, however, remains unknown to the public and we cannot tell the nature of her allegations.
Judge Mueller’s order extended retaliation protection to Melanie and everyone who helped prepare Golding’s report. She prohibited the CDCR from starting any investigations on the matter.
Similar Prison Healthcare Complaints Were Filed Before
This is not the first time prison mental health treatment in prison has been questioned. Melanin’s report has surfaced barely weeks after Dr. Michael Golding, the chief corrections psychiatrist, also filed a similar report. His 161-page report highlighted how poor mental healthcare is in California Prisons.
According to Michael’s report, prison officials distorted mental healthcare data of mentally ill inmates in several reports submitted to the court. The reason behind the distortion was to create the illusion of much care to the mentally ill, which was often, however, not the case.
California prison officials claimed that psychiatrists visited inmates regularly. According to them, they acted in accordance with the requirements of the court.
A third psychiatrist, Dr. Karuna Anand, also made similar complaints in Sacramento County Superior Court. The prison psychiatric was, however, fired after complaining of poor care that lead to suicide on three different occasions.
Dr. Michael Golding’s Report on Mental Healthcare
Michael claimed that the data didn’t show any appointments in cases where the incarcerated didn’t show up due to custodial issues or illness. California prison officials also excluded rescheduled appointments from their report.
He also highlighted the issue of “resetting the clock” once a mentally ill inmate is transferred from one facility to the other. These transfers masked treatment delays for about 8 months.
According to Dr. Michael, prison administrators and psychologists don’t consult medically trained psychiatrists when they should be consulted. This has, in turn, lead to a violent deterioration in more than one psychotic patient.
Judge Muller will issue an order in the future to appoint an independent investigator to look into Michael’s mental health allegations.
CDCR Claims They Run Honest Mental Health Programs
Governor Jerry Brown, however, had a contrary opinion to these allegations. According to him, the CDCR officials run their programs in an honest manner. He said that the officials are competent and he was confident they will make a strong case regarding their mental healthcare.