Although the Bureau of Prisons changed its rules, officials did not add the resources needed to implement them, creating an incentive for employees to downgrade inmates to lower care levels. BOP confirms that mental-health staffing has not increased since the policy took effect. “You doubled the workload and kept the resources the same. You don’t have to be Einstein to see how that’s going to work,” said a former Bureau of Prisons psychologist. The bureau said it is “developing a strategy” to analyze the drop in mental-health care, consistent with a Justice Department inspector general’s recommendation last year. Although only a small fraction of federal inmates are deemed ill enough to merit regular therapy, 23 percent have been diagnosed with some mental illness.
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