Mentally ill prisoners too impaired to stand trial are supposed to be transferred to state mental hospitals for treatment within two or three months. But more than 300 in California are languishing in county jails because hospitals don't have the beds. Christian Schmidt/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption Christian Schmidt/Corbis

California has agreed to revise its rules on solitary confinement. This file photo shows a cell in the Secure Housing Unit of Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California. Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Reuters /Landov

A Los Angeles County Department of Public Health worker shows condoms for weekly distribution to inmates in the Men's Central Jail. George Lavender hide caption

toggle caption George Lavender

A watchtower rises above the maximum security complex at Pelican Bay State Prison near Crescent City, Calif. Ben Margot/AP hide caption

toggle caption Ben Margot/AP

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor