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Lawyers: Prison system in contempt of staffing order

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Attorneys for inmates are asking a federal judge to find the Alabama prison system in contempt of a court order to boost prison mental health staffing.

Lawyers wrote in a Thursday motion that the Department of Corrections is “woefully short” of required staffing levels.

Attorneys for inmates wrote that a court order requires 263 full time equivalent mental-health positions.

The state last month informed the court that it could not comply with the order. The state asked the judge to revamp the order to reflect its contract with a care provider and take into account things like service provided with overtime hours and not just “positions filled.”

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson last year ruled that psychiatric care was so “horrendously inadequate” that it created unconstitutional conditions in state prisons.

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