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A county in the San Francisco Bay Area will spend $250 million to increase staffing and improve health care at its jails after a lawsuit alleged inmates with physical and mental problems were being neglected.

Contra Costa Count agreed to a settlement of the suit Thursday that calls for spending the money over five years, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

During negotiations over the case, experts testified that the jails weren’t giving proper treatment to potentially suicidal inmates An attorney with the Prison Law Office, which filed the suit, says the changes will save “countless lives.”

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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