Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

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Updated: 7/31 12:21 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A union says California prison employees were pressured into falsifying suicide watch records at the state's Stockton medical facility, endangering inmates and violating court-mandated standards.

The union representing psychiatric technicians at the facility tells The Associated Press that employees were instructed to certify that they checked 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. Two workers were disciplined when video surveillance showed they lied. But the union says they had been forced to lie.

A spokeswoman for the federal court-appointed receiver who controls prison medical care says officials will meet Monday to discuss policies at the unit.

The facility treats sick and mentally ill inmates. Medical admissions were halted in January amid what was described as serious, systemic problems with care.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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