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Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 4:40am

Talks On Improving Mental Health Stall

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a federal judge to force the state of Georgia to make changes in its

mental health care system.

The department went to court on Wednesday after negotiations

with state officials stalled.

The federal government sued the state in January 2009, saying the state's mental health care violated patients'

civil rights. The department complained that the state had failed to address inadequate treatment, excessive use

of restraint and sedatives to control patients and inadequate medical and nursing care.

During negotiations, state officials complained about the demand for more community services. They say the

Justice Department was trying to expand the scope of the original settlement, which covered only state hospitals.

State officials say they hope talks will resume.