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des acknowledged that the state has made significant improvements in its
treatment of mentally ill inmates since the lawsuit was filed in 1991.
That suit claimed the original care was so poor it violated the
Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, prompting federal supervision
to be imposed four years later.The state has spent more than $1
billion on new facilities and devotes $400 million a year to caring
for the mentally ill, who account for about one in every four
inmates in the state's 33 adult prisons. The administration argues it no
longer is deliberately indifferent to the needs of mentally ill inmates.Yet
court-appointed experts reported that the prison system still has major
problems. That includes a suicide rate that worsened last year to 24
per 100,000 inmates, far exceeding the national average of 16 suicides per
100,000 inmates in state prisons.Despite the state's efforts to build more
mental health facilities and hire more staff at higher salaries, attorneys
representing inmates said much more needs to be done. In his ruling,
Karlton indicated that he agreed."Systemic failures persist in the form
of inadequate suicide prevention measures, excessive administrative segregation
of the mentally ill, lack of timely access to adequate care, insufficient
treatment space and access to beds, and unmet staffing needs," the judge
wrote.The judge further wrote that the state could not be trusted to
continue the improvement as a genuine Renoir.Last year, Fuqua planned to have the painting
sold at auction, where it was expected to fetch at least $75,000.
But the auction was postponed after it was learned that the Baltimore
Museum of Art reported the painting stolen in 1951. Records show an
insurer, the Fireman's Fund, paid a $2,500 claim on the theft.The insurer
says it is now the rightful owner, based on payment of that
claim.According to an appraisal commissioned by the FBI, Renoir painted
"Paysage bords de Seine," or On the Shore of the Seine, on
a linen napkin in 1879 on the spot at a riverside restaurant
for his mistress.The appraiser says the Renoir's value is about $22,000,
much less than the auction house estimated, because Renoir's paintings have
fallen out of favor with some art collectors who consider them old
fashioned and because questions about the painting's ownership and possible
theft diminish its value to collectors.Fuqua, who had managed to remain
anonymous until the court case was filed, told the FBI under penalty
of perjury that she bought the painting at a flea market in
Harpers Ferry, W. Va., never believing the painting to be a true
Renoir, even though a plate reading "RENOIR" is attached to the frame.
She describes herself as an "innocent buyer" and questions the FBI's authority
to seize the painting."Because I am not an art historian, collector, appraiser,
or dealer, I lacked the expertise to identify the Renoir Painting's authenti
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