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      Judge won't revisit SC inmate mental health ruling

      By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A judge has denied a request by South Carolina prison officials that he should reconsider a ruling on how to deal with inmates' mental health treatment.

      Circuit Judge Michael Baxley said during a hearing Friday that he disagreed with the Department of Corrections' arguments that his ruling didn't address a number of the agency's defenses.

      Earlier this year, Baxley sided with inmates who sued the agency. His ruling chided the Corrections Department for failures in a number of areas - from screening new inmates for mental health problems to properly administering medication and preventing suicide.

      Mediation between the agency and an advocacy group representing inmates' interests is ongoing. The agency says they've made a number of fixes over the years in how inmate mental health is handled.

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      Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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