Case regarding inmate isolation goes to judge

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge says he will consider whether the prolonged solitary confinement of mentally ill inmates in California prisons violates their civil rights without hearing closing arguments in the case.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton of Sacramento abruptly ended weeks of testimony Thursday, saying he could not absorb any more comments from attorneys representing inmates and the state. He ordered the lawyers to submit written arguments instead.

The solitary confinement issue is one of four questions surrounding the treatment of mentally ill inmates that is before the judge.

He already has ruled against Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on two others and says he is struggling to decide on the third, which focuses on use of force by prison guards.