An inmate lawsuit in California alleges that a state prison has deteriorated so badly that maggots and mice have been falling onto inmates’ dining tables as they eat. According to the lawsuit, holes in the roof at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison have also allowed rain and bird droppings to seep through and streak the walls. The lawsuit, which includes numerous unsettling details, charges that the state isn’t moving fast enough to repair the outdated prisons. The state has committed $260 million over four years to repair leaking roofs and clear dangerous mold at over two dozen prisons. But the cost of overdue maintenance is pegged at more than $1 billion. The lawsuit comes amid increased scrutiny over prison conditions nationally, including a scathing report by Department of Justice investigators that found Alabama’s prisons have routinely failed to protect inmates from unsanitary conditions, brutal violence, and sexual assault.
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