Alabama nears deadline for prison improvement plan

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama is nearing a deadline to tell a federal judge how it plans to overhaul mental health care in state prisons.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has scheduled a Sept. 7 status conference to get an update on mediation between the state and lawyers for inmates. Thompson in June ordered Alabama to upgrade conditions after ruling current psychiatric care of state inmates is so "horrendously inadequate" that it violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Thompson had ordered the two sides to mediate until Sept. 1
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said last week the state is in discussions about hiring additional mental health and correctional staff and building new prison facilities.
Ivey met with lawmakers last week about the possible proposals.