Report: Inmate health care remains poor in Calif.

Those of us who really know what is going on have been saying this for YEARS, despite what Clark Kelso ( the Federal Receiver), and the prison guards say. The TRUTH will always surface…..

By DON THOMPSON Associated Press
Posted: 05/04/2011
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Medical care remains below acceptable levels in more than two-thirds of California state prisonsdespite the billions of dollars spent by taxpayers, the prison system’s independent inspector said in a report Wednesday.Just nine of the 33 adult prisons met minimum health care standards, according to the review, which is the first to survey all the facilities. Still, that finding is an improvement from an initial review of half the prisons last August, which gave passing grades to just two of 17.

A court-appointed receiver took control of inmate medical care in 2006 after a federal judge found that poor care was causing the death of an average of one inmate each week. The receiver has since increased salaries, hired more staff and improved medical facilities.

Spending has since more than doubled, from $707 million to $1.5 billion last year, according to the state Department of Finance. The cost per inmate has increased from $7,721 to $14,728, including other expenses like transporting and guarding sick inmates and providing them with dental and mental health services.

The report comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule by June whether California must sharply reduce its prison population as the only way to improve the care of physically and mentally ill inmates.

The receiver’s office did not immediately respond to telephone and emailed messages. In a one-paragraph letter accompanying the report, however, receiver J. Clark Kelso agreed with its findings. “We are committed to reform the California prison medical care system utilizing best practices in the most cost effective manner,” Kelso wrote. He cited the receivership’s “tremendous efforts and ongoing improvements.”

Read More @ The Mercury News


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