Mental health is a very fragile thing that must be secured. If our prison system is doing less to rehabilitate ex-convicts and doing more harm that can lead to recidivism and suicide, something needs to change.
Prison Health Issues

Prison Psychiatrist Turns Whistleblower on CDCR Mental Healthcare System

Top officials of CDCR are trying to pull one over on a federal judge and inmates’ attorneys. And, it’s all about the state of mental healthcare in prisons.

Mental health is a very fragile thing that must be secured. If our prison system is doing less to rehabilitate ex-convicts and doing more harm that can lead to recidivism and suicide, something needs to change.
Mental health is a very fragile thing that must be secured. If our prison system is doing less to rehabilitate ex-convicts and doing more harm that can lead to recidivism and suicide, something needs to change. Image Source: Southern Poverty Law Center

Inmate Eats Her Own Eye in CDCR Women’s Prison

According to a report made by a whistleblower, one woman prisoner was in need of mental health care. What she received was so poor that she plucked her own eye out. Then, ate it.

This CDCR prisoner was on a suicide watch. She kept screaming for almost four hours. The woman didn’t receive any medication. No one even called a psychiatrist. 

CIW Audit Report: Why Women Are Committing Suicide in CDCR Prisons

Whistleblower Report: CDCR Psychiatrist Speaks Out

The 161-page report by Dr. Michael Golding, the chief corrections psychiatrist, was publicized Wednesday by Kimberly Mueller, a U.S District Judge. It states that prison officials overrule the decisions made by prison psychiatrists.

CDCR officials also misrepresented how frequently prisoners received proper prison healthcare. 

According to Golding, Mueller and others underestimated the sufficiency of staffing at correctional facilities.

The report contains exhibits such as:

  • Emails
  • Documents
  • Records
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The Problems with Mental Healthcare in CDCR Prisons

California prison authorities have been “resetting the clock” every time a prisoner with a mental problem is transferred to a different prison. Due to this, many mentally ill inmates fail to see a psychiatrist for up to nine months.

Even if the inmate has NOT visited a psychiatrist for a while, the California DOC still records the staggered visits as timely appointments. Golding accuses officials of recording late appointments as visits that meet the court’s requirements.

According to court, every mentally ill inmate should see a psychiatrist every three months.

Prison officials count improper visits as proper appointments. Such improper appointments include:

  • Non-confidential 3-minute cell side visits
  • Brief with mentally ill patients in the presence of other inmates right on the yard
  • Wellness checks where a prison staff carries a laptop in front of an inmate’s cell door for teleconferencing with prison psychiatrists in front of the staff

GUEST POST: Addressing the Problems of Mental Illness & Treatments in US Prisons

CDCR Denies All Allegations Related to Inadequate Mental Healthcare in Prisons

Vicky Waters, a CDCR spokeswoman, disagrees with those allegations. According to her, they have tried to improve prison health care by working closely with inmates’ lawyers and court appointment monitors.

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She added that their well-trained and dedicated staff will keep on providing inmates with proper treatment and care.

Mueller, on the other hand, has set a court hearing on Monday to dig into Golding’s claims. He’s also considering appointing a private investigator to dig further into the matter.

CDCR Report Shows Unbelievable Stats

According to CDCR’s report, 95% of their inmates were seen on time by psychiatrists.

According to Golding, the report is not true. The prison psychiatrists says that the correct percentage is lower than 46%. He further points out that CDCR excluded patients who:

  • Failed to show up altogether
  • Missed an appointment due to scheduling errors
  • Refused to show up for appointments

Another Inmate Commits Suicide at CIW… Just 6 Weeks before Her Release Date

Golding reveals that CDCR’s failed to point out that prison psychiatrists visit less than 50% of patients. They are really misleading everyone about how many psychiatrists are really needed in California’s correctional facilities.

According to him, this might be the reason why suicide is so high in California prisons.

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Abigael Shem
Abigael Shem has eight years of experience in academic, content, research and creative writing, editing and proofreading. Developing any type of content is now an easy task for her. When she's not writing, she enjoys singing, dancing, hiking, traveling and sports, especially football and basketball. Abigael currently writes news for prison loved ones on Prison Rideshare Network.
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