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Trial Coverage: Week 5

March 15, 2012: SCDC presented its final witness today, Columbia psychologist Selman Watson. Dr. Watson testified regarding the contract services he provides to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, explaining that he works at SCDC one to two days per week, primarily conducting psychological evaluations. Read more...

March 14, 2012: Today, SCDC presented its expert witness on mental health services, Dr. Scott Haas, former chief of psychiatry for Kentucky’s Department of Corrections. Dr. Haas testified that he believes the mental health system at SCDC is adequate and does not submit the inmates to a serious risk of harm. Dr. Haas' opinion is based on two short visits in late 2011 and a limited review of documents and Department policies. Read more...

March 13, 2012: SCDC presented three witnesses in support of its case today. First, Martha Roof was called to testify regarding budgetary issues related to SCDC over the past several years.  She testified that during fiscal years 2009-2011, there was a 31 percent drop in the cost of psychotropic medications.  During that same time period, however, there was a 33 percent increase in the number of inmates needing intensive mental health services. Read more...

March 12, 2012: Today, SCDC presented its expert in security and use of force.  Richard L. Stalder is former Louisiana Secretary of Corrections and was once a warden.  Stalder testified regarding his opinion that SCDC policies are generally reasonable.  He also testified regarding several particular uses of force, which he claimed were reasonable and justified under the circumstances. Read more...