Judge asked to stop psychiatric patients from being sent to jail

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The Alaska Public Defender Agency and the Disability Law Center of Alaska are suing the state to try and stop the practice of taking people to jail when there is no room at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.

The practice has been increasing, according to Disability Law Center attorney Joanna Cahoon, ever since the facility closed beds in October of 2018 because of a staffing shortage.

Superior Court Judge William Morse held a hearing Tuesday on the groups' request for a preliminary injunction against the practice.

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