The Fresno Bee
Former Fresno County Jail psychiatrist placed on probation
By Barbara Anderson
September 19, 2014

Pratap Narayan

Fresno County Jail

The former chief of psychiatric services at the Fresno County Jail has been placed on five years probation by the Medical Board of California.

Dr. Pratap Narayan’s license was revoked, but the board stayed the revocation and ordered probation. The decision was effective Friday. Under the probation agreement, Narayan must enroll in a clinical training program, a prescribing practices course and a medical record-keeping course. He also cannot be in solo practice without a monitor.

The medical board had accused Narayan of repeated negligence, prescribing medications without prior examination, unprofessional conduct and inadequate record-keeping in his treatment of inmates.

Narayan could not be reached for comment Friday, but his lawyer, Mitchell Green of San Francisco, said: “This probation was by agreement with Dr. Narayan after the medical board withdrew many of the serious accusations against him and proceeded based on just record-keeping and documentation charges.”

Narayan graduated from Andhra Medical College in India in 1984 and completed both a psychiatric residency and a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at the University of Florida.

He worked at the Fresno County Jail for five years before resigning in February 2013 to take a position at Avenal State Prison.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which oversees the state’s prisons, “will take the appropriate personnel action in response to the California Medical Board’s decision,” spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.

The treatment of mentally ill inmates was a focus of The Fresno Bee’s Watchdog Report “Locked In Terror,” which chronicled that for years inmates were not given psychiatric drugs they needed while behind bars and were then deemed incompetent to stand trial and shipped off to state hospitals, often more than once.

Narayan had already come under fire by Fresno defense attorneys whose clients claimed he refused to prescribe medications they previously were treated with or lowered their dosages, which would cause their symptoms to worsen.

It led to a lawsuit by the Berkeley-based Prison Law Office, which contends that inmates were not getting even the most basic care. That suit is in settlement negotiations with Fresno County.

Since June, jail psychiatric services have been provided by contractor Corizon Health. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a five-year contract worth up to $98.8 million with the Tennessee-based company.

Pratap Narayan