MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A federal judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by Alabama inmates who claim the state is failing to provide constitutionally adequate mental health treatment.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson handed down the decision Friday. The ruling clears the way for the case to go to trial next month on behalf of all inmates with mental illness.
Southern Poverty Law Center attorney Maria Morris praised the decision as a victory for inmates “languishing within Alabama’s prisons without the mental health care they need.”
A spokesman for the prison system said the department is reviewing the decision.
Dozens of inmates filed the lawsuit against the prison system in 2014, claiming the state was failing to provide basic medical and mental health care. The state has disputed those accusations.