Prison staff pressured to falsify records, union says

– California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide-watch records at the state’s troubled new Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating standards imposed in response to federal court orders, according to the union representing psychiatric technicians. The union said employees were instructed by supervisors to routinely sign log sheets certifying they had followed rules stipulating they check on inmates in the mental health crisis unit every 12 to 15 minutes when they had not done so because they were too busy with other work. Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal court-appointed receiver who oversees prison medical care in California, said she can’t discuss personnel issues, “but obviously any falsification isn’t appropriate and won’t be tolerated.” Officials from her office and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation plan to meet Monday to discuss policies at the crisis unit, Hayhoe said. The mental health crisis unit serves inmates deemed most at risk of harming themselves or others.


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